(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Andrew Lang's The Pink Fairy Book"

mm 




Digitized for Microsoft Corporation 

by the Internet Archive in 2007. 

From New York Public Library. 

May be used for non-commercial, personal, research, 

or educational purposes, or any fair use. 

May not be indexed in a commercial service. 



X 



i 



- 



__ 









Digitized by Microsoft ® 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



THE 



PINK FAIRY BOOK 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE FAIRY BOOK SERES. 

EDITED BY ANDREW LANG. 

Crown 8vo, gilt e 



THE BLUE FAIRY BOOK. With 13S Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE BED FAIRY BOOK. With 100 Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK. With 99 Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE GREY FAIRY BOOK. With G5 Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE YELLOW FAIRY BOOK. With 104 Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE PINK FAIRY BOOK. With 67 Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE VIOLET FAIRY BOOK. With S Coloured Plates and 54 
other Illustrations. Net, $1.60. By mail, $1.75. 

THE CRIMSON FAIRY BOOK. With S Coloured Plates and 
45 other Illustrations. Net, $1.00. By mail, $1.75. 

THE BROWN FAIRY BOOK. With S Coloured Plates and 42 
other Illustrations. Net, $1.60. By mail, $1.75. 

THE BLUE POETRY BOOK. With 100 Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE TRUE STORY BOOK. With 66 Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE RED TRUE STORY BOOK. With 100 Illustrations. 
$2.00. 

THE ANIMAL STORY BOOK. With 67 Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE RED BOOK OF ANIMAL STORIES. With 65 Illus- 
trations. $2.00. 

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS. With 66 
Illustrations. $2.00. 

THE BOOK OF ROMANCE. With 8 Coloured Plates and 44 
other Illustrations. Net, $1.60. By mail, $1.75. 



LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO. 

New York London Bombay 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 




.it r^H^ hi 









\ 






iR^i, 




f JL >, 






f^*- 



'/7i l^£$2S^i0 

'/ , i.»-=-<i.^,- v r ».' "~f .-v -«; 






r 



X A TD Ey BEUGS THE COAT CF HAT?. TO TEE GDL5T. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



THE 



Pink Fairy Book 



EDITED ET 

AXDEEW la:;g 




f^ffe^ <* 111 



^mwi 



^gp 6 *-. - 






>/h£3&3W^§<* 



WITH XUMESOZS ILLr&TEATiayS BY H J. FOEP 



NEW YORK 
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 

LONDON AXD BOMBAY 
1904 

Digitized &yffireri)soft ® 



Copy eight!, .1897 
Longmans, Green, & Co. 



First Edition, September, 1897 

Keprinted, January, 1898, September, 1901 

and September, 1904. 



THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 

ASTOR LENOX AND 

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 

O L. 



^ttibrrsttg \%xz%% 
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U.S.A. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



3?X- 



G274498 



PREFACE 



All people in the world tell nursery tales to their 

children. The Japanese tell them, the Chinese, the 

lied Indians by their camp fires, the Eskimo in their 

dark dirty winter huts. The Kaffirs of South Africa 

tell them, and the modern Greeks, just as the old 

Egyptians did, when Moses had not been many 

years rescued out of the bulrushes. The Germans, 

French, Spanish, Italians, Danes, Highlanders tell 

them also, and the stories are apt to be like each 

other everywhere. A child who has read the Blue 

and Red and Yellow Fairy Books will find some old 

friends with new faces in the Pink Fairy Book, if 

he examines and compares. But the Japanese tales 

will probably be new to the young student; the 

Tanuki is a creature whose acquaintance he may not 

have made before. He may remark that Andersen 

wants to ; point a moral,' as well as to ' adorn a 

tale ; ' that he is trying to make fun of the follies of 

mankind, as they exist in civilised countries. The 

Danish story of * The Princess in the Chest ' need 

not be read to a very nervous child, as it rather 

borders on a ghost story. It has been altered, and 

is really much more horrid in the language of the 

Danes, who, as history tells us 5 were not a nervous 
Digitize^y Microsoft ® 



viii PREFACE 

or timid people. I am quite sure that this story 
is not true. The other Danish and Swedish stories 
are not alarming. They are translated by Mr. W. 
A. Craigie. Those from the Sicilian (through the 
German) are translated, like the African tales (through 
the French) and the Catalan tales, and the Japanese 
stories (the latter through the German), and an old 
French story, by Mrs. Lang. Miss Alma Alleyne did 
the stories from Andersen, out of the German. Mr. 
Ford, as usual, has drawn the monsters and mermaids, 
the princes and giants, and the beautiful princesses, 
who, the Editor thinks, are, if possible, prettier than 
ever. Here, then, are fancies brought from all 
quarters : we 'see that black, white, and yellow peo- 
ples are fond of just the same kinds of adventures. 
Courage, youth, beauty, kindness, have many trials, 
but they always win the battle ; while witches, giants, 
unfriendly cruel people, are on the losing hand. So 
it ought to be, and so, on the whole, it is and will be ; 
and that is all the moral of fairy tales. We cannot 
all be young, alas ! and pretty, and strong ; but 
nothing prevents us from being kind, and no kind 
man, woman, or beast or bird, ever comes to anything 
but good in these oldest fables of the world. So far 
all the tales are true, and no further. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



CONTENTS 



The Cats Elopement . . 
How the Dragon teas 

Tricked 

The Goblin and the Grocer 
The House in the Wood . 
Uraschimataro and the 

Turtle 

The Slaying of the Tanuli 
The Flying Trunk . . 
The Snow Man .... 
The Shirt- Collar . . . 
The Princess in the Chest 
The Three Brothers . . 
The Snow-queen .... 
The Fir-Tree . . . . 
Hans , the Mermaid's Son 

Peter Bull 

The Bird < Grip ' . . . 

Snowflake 

/ know what 1 have learned 
The Cunning Shoemaker . 
The King who would have 

a Beautiful Wife 
Catherine and her Destiny 



PAGK 




PAGE 


1 


How the Hermit helped to 




ivin the King's Daughter 


* 174 


G 


The Water of Life . . 


184 


12 


The Wounded Lion 


191 


18 


The Man icithout a Heart 


200 




The Two Brothers . 


209 


25 


Master and Pupil . 


220 


33 


The Golden Lion . . 


223 


40 


The Sprig oj Rosemary 


230 


47 


The White Dove . . 


. 238 


54 


The TrolVs Daughter . 


247 


57 


Esben and the Witch . 


258 


73 


Princess Minon-Minette 


274 


76 


Maiden Bright- eye . 


289 


102 


The Merry Wives . . 


297 


112 


King Lindorm . 


301 


12G 


The Jackal, the Dove, ant 




132 


the Panther 


315 


143 


The Little Hare . . 


321 


148 


The Sparrow icith the Sli 




154 


Tongue 


334 




The Stor°y of Ciccu 


339 


1G2 


Don Giovanni de la For 




1G7 


tuna 


35G 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE CAT'S ELOPEMSNT 1 



Once upon a tiiheUliere lived a cat of maryel§i}'s beauty, 
with a skin as soft* and shining as silk, asd iH&e green 
eyes, that coulcl ' s>ti& 'even in the dark. His-^ame was 
Gon, and he belonged to a music teacher,' ^yfid was so 
fond and proud af him that he would not have parted 
with him for anything iii'to w4rT$J«" o ; 

Now not far from* the?* .sfaijsfei master's house there 
dwelt a lady who possessed a most lovely little pussy cat 
called Koma. She was such a little dear altogether, and 
blinked her eyes so daintily, and ate her supper so tidily, 
and when she had finished she licked her pink nose so 
delicately with her little tongue, that her mistress was 
never tired of saying, ' Koma, Koma, what should I do 
without you ? ' 

Well, it happened one day that these two, when out 
for an evening stroll, met under a cherry tree, and in one 
moment fell madly in love with each other. Gon had 
long felt that it was time for him to find a wife, for 
all the ladies in the neighbourhood paid him so much 
attention that it made him quite shy ; but he was not 
easy to please, and did not care about any of them. 
Now, before he had time to think, Cupid had entangled 
him in his net, and he was filled with love towards Koma. 
She fully returned his passion, but, like a woman, 
she saw the difficulties in the way, and consulted sadly 

1 From the .Tapani sche Mdrcken und Sagen, von David Brauns 
(Leipzig: Wilhelm Friedrich). 

1 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



2 . THE CAT'S ELOPEMENT 

with Gon as to the means of overcoming them. Gon 
entreated his master to set matters right by buying 
Koma, but her mistress would not part from her. Then 
the music master was asked to sell Gon to the lady, but 
he declined to listen' to 'ah^siich suggestion, so everything 
remained as before. ;• *•;/"; ;' • , 

At length the, love ,6f Itlle> couple grew to such a pitch 
that they d'etehmried to please themselves, and to seek 
their fortunes .together. So one moonlight night they 
stole awaVi, Vnd ventured out into .an unknown world. 
All day ' fyfig' they inarched bravely on; through the sun- 
shine, till "they had left their hqirtes. t f ar behind them, 
and towards evening the} 7 found' themselves in a large 
park. The wanderers by this time were very hot and tired, 
and the grass looked very soft dud inviting, and the trees 
cast cool deep shadows., syh'em ( suGdenl3 T an ogre appeared 
in this Paradise, in the. shape 'of a big, big dog! lie 
came springing towards them showing all his teeth, and 
Koma shrieked, and rushed up a cherry tree. Gon, 
however, stood his ground boldly, and prepared to give 
battle, for he felt that Koma's eyes were upon him, and 
that he must not run away. But, alas! his courage 
would have availed him nothing had his enemy once 
touched him, for he was large and powerful, and very 
fierce. From her perch in the tree Koma saw it all, and 
screamed with all her might, hoping that some one would 
hear, and come to help. Luckily a servant of the prin- 
cess to whom the park belonged was walking by, and lie 
drove off the dog, and picking up the trembling Gon in 
his arms, carried him to his mistress. 

So poor little Koma was left alone, while Gon was 
borne away full of trouble, not in the least knowing what 
to do. Even the attention paid him by the princess, who 
was delighted with his beauty and pretty ways, did not 
console him, but there was no use in fighting against fate, 
and he could only wait and see what would turn up. 

The princess, Gon's new mistress, was so good and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE CAT'S ELOPEMENT 3 

kind that everybody loved her, and she would have led a 
happy life, had it not been for a serpent who had fallen 
in love with her, and was constantly annoying her by his 
presence. Her servants had orders to drive him away as 
often as he appeared ; but as they were careless, and the 
serpent very sly, it sometimes happened that he was 
able to slip past them, and to frighten the princess by 




\^ -ps> W(s^i^M§m^^i^\m^f{mms^ i 



appearing before her. One day she was seated in her 
room, playing on her favourite musical instrument, when 
she felt something gliding up her sash, and saw her 
enemy making his way to kiss her cheek. She shrieked 
and threw herself backwards, and (Ion, who had been 
curled up on a stool at her feet, understood her terror, 
and with one bound seized the snake by his neck. He 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 




f\ <5fte TV i rye ess \*teps for^yiTfoaXjiy. /f% 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE CAT'S ELOPEMEXT 5 

gave him one bite and ODe shake, and flung him on the 
ground, where he lay, never to worry the princess any 
more. Then she took Gon in her arms, and praised and 
caressed him, and saw that he had the nicest hits to eat, 
and the softest mats to lie on ; and he would have had 
nothing in the world to wish for if only he could have 
seen Koma again. 

Time passed on, and one morning Gon lay before the 
house door, basking in the sun. He looked lazily at the 
world stretched out before him, and saw in the distance 
a big ruffian of a cat teasing and ill-treating quite a little 
o:ie. He jumped up, full of rage, and chased away the 
big cat, and then he turned to comfort the little one, 
when his heart nearly burst with joy to find that it was 
Koma. At first Koma did not know him again, he had 
grown so large and stately; but when it dawned upon 
her who it was, her happiness knew no bounds. And 
they nibbed their heads and their noses again and again, 
while their purring might have been heard a mile off. 

Paw in paw they appeared before the princess, and 
told her the story of their life and its sorrows. The 
princess wept for sympathy, and promised that the} T 
should never more be parted, but should live with her to 
the end of their days. By-and-bye the princess herself 
got married, and brought a prince to dwell in the palace 
in the park. And she told him all about her two cats, 
and how brave Gon had been, and how he had delivered 
her from her enemy the serpent. 

And when the prince heard, he swore they should 
never leave them, but should go with the princess 
wherever she went. So it all fell out as the princess 
wished ; and Gon and Koma had many children, and so 
had the princess, and the}^ all played together, and were 
friends to the end of their lives. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



HOW THE D BAG OX WAS TRICKED 1 



Once upon a time there lived a man who had two sons, 
but they did not get on at all well together, for the 
younger was much handsomer than his elder brother, 
who was very jealous of him. AVhen they grew older, 
things became worse and worse, and at last one day as 
they were walking through a wood the elder youth seized 
hold of the other, tied him to a tree, and went on his way, 
hoping that the boy might starve to death. 

However, it happened that an old and humpbacked 
shepherd passed the tree with his flock, and seeing the 
prisoner, he stopped and said to him, k Tell me, my son, 
why are you tied to that tree?' 

' Because T was so crooked,' answered the young man ; 
£ but it has quite cured me, and now my back is as 
straight as can be.' 

' I wish you would bind me to a tree,' exclaimed the 
shepherd, ' so that my hack would get straight.' 

1 With all the pleasure in life,' replied the youth. c If 
you wi}l loosen these cords I will tie you up with them 
as firmly as I can.' 

This was soon done, and then the young man drove 
off the sheep, leaving their real shepherd to repent of his 
folly ; and before he had gone very far he met with a 
horse boy and a driver of oxen, and he persuaded them 
to turn with him and to seek for adventures. 

1 From Griechische und AJbanesische Mtirchen, von Jo G. von Hahn, 
(Leipzig : Engelmann. 1864.) 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



HOW THE DRAG OX WAS TRICKED 7 

By these and many other tricks he soon became so 
celebrated that his fame reached the king's ears, and his 
majesty was filled with curiosity to see the man who had 
managed to outwit everybody. So he commanded his 
guards to capture the young man and bring him before 
him. 

And when the young man stood before the king, the 
king spoke to him and said, ; By your tricks and the 
pranks that you have played on other people, you have, 
in the eye of the law, forfeited your life. But on one 
condition I will spare you, and that is, if you will bring 
me the flying horse that belongs to the great dragon. 
Fail in this, and you shall be hewn in a thousand pieces/ 

' If that is all,' said the youth, ' you shall soon have it.' 

So he went out and made his way straight to the 
stable where the flying horse was tethered. He stretched 
his hand cautiously out to seize the bridle, when the 
horse suddenly began to neigh as loud as he could. Now 
the room in which the dragon slept was just above the 
stable, and at the sound of the neighing he woke and 
cried to the horse, 'What is the matter, my treasure? is 
anything hurting you ?' After waiting a little while the 
young man tried again to loose the horse, but a second 
time it neighed so loudly that the dragon woke up in a 
hurry and called out to know why the horse was making 
such a noise. But when the same thing happened the 
third time, the dragon lost his temper, and went down 
into the stable and took a whip and gave the horse a good 
beating. This offended the horse and made him angry, 
and when the young man stretched out his hand to untie 
his head, he made no further fuss, but suffered himself to 
be led quietly away. Once clear of the stable the young 
man sprang on his back and galloped off, calling over 
his shoulder, ' Hi ! dragon ! dragon ! if anyone asks you 
what has become of your horse, you can say that 1 have 
got him ! ' 

But the king said, ' The flying horse is all very well, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



8 HOW THE DRAGOX WAS TRICKED 

but I want something more. You must bring me the 
covering with the little bells that lies on the bed of 
the dragon, or I will have you hewn into a thousand 
pieces.' 

' Is that all ? ' answered the youth. ' That is easily 
done.' 

And when night came he went away to the dragon's 
house and climbed up on to the roof. Then he opened 
a little window in the roof and let down the chain 
from which the kettle usually hung and tried to hook the 
bed covering and to draw it up. But the little bells all 
began to ring, and the dragon woke and said to his wife, 
'Wife, 3 t ou have pulled off all the bed-clothes!' and 
drew the covering towards him, pulling, as he did so, 
the young man into the room. Then the dragon flung 
himself on the youth and bound him fast with cords 
saying as he tied the last knot, ' To-morrow when I go to 
church you must stay at home and kill him and cook him, 
and when I get back we will eat him together.' 

So the following morning the dragoness took hold of 
the young man and reached down from the shelf a sharp 
knife with which to kill him. But as she untied the 
cords the better to get hold of him, the prisoner caught 
her by the legs, threw her to the ground, seized her and 
speedily cut her throat, just as she had been about to do 
for him, and put her body in the oven. Then he snatched 
up the covering and carried it to the king. 

The king was seated on his throne when the } T outh 
appeared before him and spread out the covering with 
a deep bow. 'That is not enough,' said his majesty; 
4 you must bring me the dragon himself, or I will have 
j T ou hewn into a thousand pieces.' 

' It shall be done,' answered the youth; ' but you must 
give me two years to manage it, for my beard must grow 
so that he ma} 7 not know me.' 

' So be it,' said the king. 

And the first thing the young man did when his beard 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



10 HOW THE DRAG OX WAS TRICKED 

was grown was to take the road to the dragon's house, 
and on the way he met a beggar, whom he persuaded to 
change clothes with him, and in the beggar's garments 
he went fearlessly forth to the dragon. 

He found his enemy before his house, very busy 
making a box, and addressed him politely, w (iood morn- 
ing, your worship. Have you a morsel of bread ? ' 

" You must wait,' replied the dragon, ' till I have 
finished my box, and then I will see if I can find 
one.' 

4 What will you do with the box when it is made?' 
inquired the beggar. 

4 It is for the young man who killed my wife, and 
stole my flying horse and my bed covering,' said the 
dragon. 

4 He deserves nothing better,' answered the beggar, 
4 for it was an ill deed. Still that box is too small for 
him, for he is a big man.' 

4 You are wrong,' said the dragon. ' The box is large 
enough even for me.' 

4 Well, the rogue is nearly as tall as you,' replied the 
beggar, 4 and, of course, if you can get in, he can. But I 
am sure } T ou would find it a tight fit.' 

4 No, there is plenty of room/ said the dragon, tucking 
himself carefully inside. 

But no sooner was he well in, than the young man 
clapped on the lid and called out, ' Now press hard, 
just to see if he will be able to get out.' 

The dragon pressed as hard as he could, but the lid 
never moved. 

4 It is all right,' he cried ; ' now you can open it.' 

But instead of opening it, the young man drove in 
long nails to make it tighter still ; then he took the box on 
his back and brought it to the king. And when the king- 
heard that the dragon was inside, he was so excited that 
he would not wait one moment, but broke the lock and 
lifted the lid just a little way to make sure he was really 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



HOW THE DRAGON WAS TRICKED 11 

there. lie was very careful not to leave enough space 
for the dragon to jump out, but unluckily there was just 
room for his great mouth, and with one snap the king 
vanished down his wide red jaws. Then the young man 
married the king's daughter and ruled over the land, but 
what he did with the dragon nobody knows. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



12 



THE GOB LI X AXI) THE GROCER 1 

There was once a hard-working student who lived in 
an attic, and he had nothing in the world of his own. 
There was also a hard-working grocer who lived on the 
first floor, and he had the whole house for his own. 

The Goblin belonged to him, for every Christinas Eve 
there was waiting for him at the grocer's a dish of jam 
with a large lump of butter in the middle. 

The grocer could afford this, so the Goblin stayed in 
the grocer's shop ; and this teaches us a good deal. 
One evening the student came in by the back door to 
buy a candle and some cheese; he had no one to send, 
so he came himself. 

He got what he wanted, paid for it, and nodded a good 
evening to the grocer and his wife (she was a woman who 
could do more than nod ; she could talk). 

AVhen the student had said good night he suddenly 
stood still, reading the sheet of paper in which the cheese 
had been wrapped. 

It was a leaf torn out of an old book — a book of poetry. 

' There 's more of that over there ! ' said the grocer. 
4 I gave an old woman some coffee for the book. If you 
like to give me twopence you can have the rest.' 

' Yes,' said the student, 'give me the book instead of 
the cheese. I can eat my bread without cheese. It 
would be a shame to leave the book to be torn up. You 

1 Translated from the German of Hans Andersen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE GOBLIN AND THE GROCER 13 

are a clever and practical man, but about poetry you 
understand as much as that old tub over there ! ' 

And that sounded rude as far as the tub was concerned, 
but the grocer laughed, and so did the student. It was 
only said in fun. 

But the Goblin was angry that anyone should dare to 
say such a thing to a grocer who owned the house and 
sold the best butter. 

When it was night and the shop was shut, and every- 
one was in bed except the student, the Goblin went 
upstairs and took the grocer's wife's tongue. She did 
not use it when she was asleep, and on whatever object 
in the room he put it that thing began to speak, and 
spoke out its thoughts and feelings just as well as the 
lady to whom it belonged. But only one thing at a time 
could use it, and that was a good thing, or they would 
have all spoken together. 

The Goblin laid the tongue on the tub in which were 
the old newspapers. 

w Is it true,' he asked, ' that you know nothing about 
poetry ? ' 

'Certainly not!' answered the tub. ' Poetry is some- 
thing that is in the papers, and that is frequently cut out. 
I have a great deal more in me than the student has, and 
yet I am only a small tub in the grocer's shop.' 

And the Goblin put the tongue on the coffee-mill, and 
how it began to grind! He put it on the butter-cask, 
and on the till, and all were of the same opinion as the 
waste-paper tub, and one must believe the majority. 

' Now I will tell the student!' and with these words 
he crept softly up the stairs to the attic where the student 
lived. 

There was a light burning, and the Goblin peeped 
through the key-hole and saw that he was reading the 
torn book that he had bought in the shop. 

But how bright it was ! Out of the book shot a streak 
of light which grew into a large tree and spread its 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



14 THE GOBLIN AXD THE GROCER 

branches far above the student. Every leaf was alive, 
and every flower was a beautiful girl's head, some with 
dark and shining eyes, others with wonderful blue ones. 
Every fruit was a glittering star, and there was a mar- 
vellous music in the student's room. The little Goblin 
had never even dreamt of such a splendid sight, much 
less seen it. 

He stood on tiptoe gazing and gazing, till the candle 
in the attic was put out; the student had blown it out 
and had gone to bed, but the Goblin remained standing 
outside listening to the music, which very softly and 
sweetly was now singing the student a lullaby. 

' I have never seen anything like this ! ' said the 
Goblin. 4 1 never expected this ! I must stay with the 
student/ 

The little fellow thought it over for he was a sensible 
Goblin. Then he sighed, ; The student has no jam! ' 

And on that he went down to the grocer again. And 
it was a good thing that he did go back, for the tub had 
nearly worn out the tongue. It had read everything that 
was inside it, on the one side, and was just going to turn 
itself round and read from the other side when the Goblin 
came in and returned the tongue to its owner. 

But the whole shop, from the till down to the shavings, 
from that night changed their opinion of the tub, and they 
looked up to it, and had such faith in it that they were 
under the impression that when the grocer read the art 
and drama critiques out of the paper in the evenings, it 
all came from the tub. 

But the Goblin could no longer sit quietly listening to 
the wisdom and intellect downstairs. No, as soon as the 
light shone in the evening from the attic it seemed to 
him as though its beams were strong ropes dragging him 
up, and lie had to go and peep through the key-hole. 
There he felt the sort of feeling we have looking at the 
great rolling sea in a storm, and he burst into tears. He 
could not himself say why he wept, but in spite of his 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft © 



16 THE GOBLIN AND THE GROCER 

tears he felt quite happy. How beautiful it must be to 
sit under that tree with the student, but that he could 
not do ; he had to content himself with the key-hole and 
be happy there ! 

There he stood out on the cold landing, the autumn 
wind blowing through the cracks of the floor. It was 
co ld — very cold, but he first found it out when the light 
in the attic was put out and the music in the wood died 
away. Ah! then it froze him, and he crept dowu again 
into his warm corner; there it was comfortable and cosy. 

AVhen Christmas came, and with it the jam with the 
large lump of butter, ah! then the grocer was first with 
him. 

But in the middle of the night the Goblin awoke, hear- 
ing a great noise and knocking against the shutters — 
people hammering from outside. The watchman was 
blowing his horn : a great fire had broken out; the whole 
town was in flames. 

Was it in the house? or was it at a neighbour's? 
Where was it? 

The alarm increased. The grocer's wife was so terri- 
fied that she took her gold earrings out of her ears and 
put them in her pocket in order to save something. The 
grocer seized his account books, and the maid her black 
silk dress. 

Everyone wanted to save his most valuable possession ; 
so did the Goblin, and in a few leaps he was up the stairs 
and in the student's room. He was standing quietly by 
the open window looking at the fire that was burning 
in the neighbour's house just opposite. The Goblin 
seized the book lying on the table, put it in his red cap, 
and clasped it with both hands. The best treasure in the 
house was saved, and he climbed out on to the roof with 
it — on to the chimney. There he sat, lighted up by the 
flames from the burning house opposite, both hands hold- 
ing tightly on his red cap, in which lay the treasure ; and 
now he knew what his heart really valued most — to 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE GOBLIN AND THE GROCER 1? 

whom he really belonged. But when the fire was put 
out, and the Goblin thought it over — then — 

1 1 will divide myself between the two,' he said. ' I 
cannot quite give up the grocer, because of the jam ! ' 

And it is just the same with us. We also cannot quite 
give up the grocer- — because of the jam. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



US 



THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD 1 

A took woodcutter lived with his wife and three daughters 
in a little hut on the borders of a great forest. 

One morning as he was going to his work, he said to 
his wife, i Let our eldest daughter bring me my lunch into 
the wood ; and so that she shall not lose her way, I will 
take a bag of millet with me, and sprinkle the seed on the 
path.' 

AVhen the sun had risen high over the forest, the girl 
set out with a basin of soup. But the field and wood 
sparrows, the larks and finches, blackbirds and green- 
finches had picked up the millet long ago, and the girl 
could not find her way. 

She went on and on, till the sun set and night came 
on. The trees rustled in the darkness, the owls hooted, 
and she began to be very much frightened. Then she 
saw in the distance a light that twinkled between the 
trees. c There must be people living yonder,' she thought, 
6 who will take me in for the night,' and she began walk- 
ing towards it. 

Not long afterwards she came to a house with lights in 
the windows. 

She knocked at the door and a gruff voice called, 
c Come in ! ' 

The girl stepped into the dark entrance, and tapped at 
the door of the room. 

1 From the German of Grimm. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD 19 

* Just walk in,' cried the voice, and when she opened 
the door there sat an old grey-haired man at the table. 
His face was resting on his hands, and his white beard 
ilowed over the table almost down to the ground. 

By the stove lay three beasts, a lien, a cock, and a 
brindled cow. The girl told the old man her story, and 
asked for a night's lodging. 

The man said : 

Pretty cock, 

Pretty hen, 

And you, pretty brindled cow, 

What do yon say now ? 

4 Duks,' answered the beasts; and that must have 
meant, 'We are quite willing/ for the old man went on, 
4 Here is abundance ; go into the back kitchen and cook 
us a supper.' 

The girl found plenty of everything in the kitchen, and 
cooked a good meal, but she did not think of the beasts. 

She placed the full dishes on the table, sat down 
opposite the grey-haired man, and ate till her hunger was 
appeased. 

When she was satisfied, she said, 4 But now I am so 
tired, where is a bed in which I can sleep?' 

The beasts answered : 

You have eaten with him, 
You have drunk with him, 
Of us you have not thought, 
Sleep then as you ought ! 

Then the old man said, ' Go upstairs, and there you 
will find a bedroom ; shake the bed, and put clean sheets 
on, and go to sleep.' 

The maiden went upstairs, and when she had made 
the bed, she lay down. 

After some time the grey-haired man came, looked at 
her by the light of his candle, and shook his head. And 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



20 THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD 

when he saw that she was sound asleep, he opened a trap- 
door and let her fall into the cellar. 

The woodcutter came home late in the evening, and 
reproached his wife for leaving him all day without food. 

' No, 1 did not,' she answered; 'the girl went off with 
your dinner. She must have lost her way, but will no 
doubt come back to-morrow.' 

But at daybreak the woodcutter started off iuto the 
wood, and this time asked his second daughter to bring 
his food. 

' I will take a bag of lentils,' said he ; ' they are larger 
than millet, and the girl Avill see them better and be sure 
to find her way.' 

At midday the maiden took the food, but the lentils 
had all gone ; as on the previous day, the wood birds had 
eaten them all. 

The maiden wandered about the wood till nightfall, 
when she came in the same wa} T to the old man's house, 
and asked for food and a night's lodging. 

The man with the white hair again asked the beasts : 

Pretty coek, 

Pretty hen, 

And you, pretty brindled cow, 

What do you say now 1 

The beasts answered, ' Duks,' and everything happened 
as on the former day. 

The girl cooked a good meal, ate and drank with the 
old man, and did not trouble herself about the animals. 

And when she asked for a bed, they replied : 

You have eaten with him, 
You have drunk with him, 
Of us you have not thought, 
Now sleep as yon ought ! 

And when she was asleep, the old man shook his head 
over her, and let her fall into the cellar. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



THE HOUSE IN THE WO OH 21 

On the third morning the woodcutter said to his wife, 
4 Send our youngest child to-day with my dinner. She is 
always good and obedient, and will keep to the right path, 
and not wander away like her sisters, idle drones ! ' 

But the mother said, 4 Must I lose my dearest child 
too? ' 

4 Do not fear/ he answered ; 4 she is too clever and 
intelligent to lose her way. I will take plenty of peas 
with me and strew them along ; they are even larger than 
lentils, and will show her the way/ 

But when the maiden started off with the basket on 
her arm, the wood pigeons had eaten up the peas, and she 
did not know which way to go. She was much distressed, 
and thought constantly of her poor hungry father and 
her anxious mother. At last, when it grew dark, she saw 
the little light, and came to the house in the wood. She 
asked prettily if she might stay there for the night, and 
the man with the white beard asked his beasts again : 

Pretty cock, 

Pretty hen, 

And you, pretty brindled cow, 

What do you say now 1 

4 Duks,' they said. Then the maiden stepped up to 
the stove where the animals were lying, and stroked the 
cock and the hen, and scratched the brindled cow between 
its horns. 

And when at the bidding of the old man she had pre- 
pared a good supper, and the dishes were standing on the 
table, she said, 4 Shall I have plenty while the good 
beasts have nothing? There is food to spare outside; I 
will attend to them first.' 

Then she went out and fetched barley and strewed it 
before the cock and hen, and brought the cow an armful 
of sweet-smelling hay. 

4 Eat that, dear beasts,' she said, c and when you are 
thirsty you shall have a good drink.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



22 THE HOUSE IX THE WOOD 

Then she fetched a bowl of water, and the cock and 
hen flew on to the edge, put their beaks in, and then held 
up their heads as birds do when they drink, and the 
brindled cow also drank her fill. When the beasts were 
satisfied, the maiden sat down beside the old man at the 
table and ate what was left for her. Soon the cock and 




hen began to tuck their heads under their wings, and the 
brindled cow blinked its eyes, so the maiden said, ; Shall 
we not go to rest now ? ' 

Pretty cock, 

Pretty hen, 

And you, pretty brindled cow, 

"What do vou sav now ? 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD 23 

The animals said, ' Duks : 

You have eaten with us, 
You have drunk with us, 
You have tended us right, 
So we wish you good uight/ 

The maiden therefore went upstairs, made the bed and 
put on clean sheets and fell asleep. She slept peacefully 
till midnight, when there was such a noise in the house 
that she awoke. Everything- trembled and shook; the 
animals sprang up and dashed themselves in terror 
against the wall; the beams swayed as if they would be 
torn from their foundations, it seemed as if the stairs were 
tumbling down, and then the roof fell in with a crash. 
Then all became still, and as no harm came to the maiden 
she lay down again and fell asleep. But when she awoke 
again in broad daylight, what a sight met her eyes! She 
was lying in a splendid room furnished with royal splen- 
dour ; the walls were covered with golden flowers on a 
green ground ; the bed was of ivory and the counterpane 
of velvet, and on a stool near by lay a pair of slippers 
studded with pearls. The maiden thought she must be 
dreaming, but in came three servants richly dressed, who 
asked what were her commands. ' Go,' said the maiden, 
' I will get up at once and cook the old man's supper for 
him, and then I will feed the pretty cock and hen and the 
brindled cow.' 

But the door opened and in came a handsome young 
man, who said, ' I am a king's son, and was condemned 
by a wicked witch to live as an old man in this wood with 
no company but that of my three servants, who were 
transformed into a cock, a hen, and a brindled cow. The 
spell could only be broken by the arrival of a maiden 
who should show herself kind not only to men but to 
beasts. You are that maiden, and last night at midnight 
we were freed, and this poor house was again transformed 
into my royal palace.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



24 TEE HOUSE IN THE WOOD 

As they stood there the king's son told his three ser- 
vants to go and fetch the maiden's parents to be present 
at the wedding feast. 

' But where are my two sisters? ' asked the maid. 

' I shut them tip in the cellar, but in the morning they 
shall be led forth into the forest and shall serve a char- 
coal burner until they have improved, and will never 
again suffer poor animals to go hungry.' 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



25 



URASCHIMATARO AND THE TURTLE 1 

There was once a worthy old couple who lived on the 
coast, and supported themselves by fishing. They had 
only one child, a son, who was their pride and joy, and 
for his sake they were ready to work hard all day long, 
and never felt tired or discontented with their lot. This 
son's name was Uraschimataro, which means in Japanese, 
6 Son of the island,' and he was a fine well-grown youth 
and a good fisherman, minding neither wind nor weather. 
Not the bravest sailor in the whole village dared venture 
so far out to sea as Uraschimataro, and many a time the 
neighbours used to shake their heads and say to his 
parents, i If your son goes on being so rash, one day he 
will try his luck once too often, and the waves will end 
\)j swallowing him up/ But Uraschimataro paid no heed 
to these remarks, and as he was really very clever in man- 
aging a boat, the old people were very seldom anxious 
about him. 

One beautiful bright morning, as he was hauling his 
well-filled nets into the boat, he saw lying among the 
fishes a tiny little turtle. He was delighted with his 
prize, and threw it into a wooden vessel to keep till he 
got home, when suddenly the turtle found its voice, and 
tremblingly begged for its life. 4 After all,' it said, 
4 what good can I do you? I am so young and small, 
and I would so gladly live a little longer. Be merciful 

1 From the Japanische Marcken und Sagen, von David Brauiis 
(Leipzig : Wilhelm Friedrich). 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



26 URASCHIMATARO AXD THE TURTLE 

and set uie free, and 1 shall know how to prove my 
gratitude.' 

Now Uraschimataro was very good-natured, and be- 
sides, he could never bear to say no, so lie picked up the 
turtle, and put it back into the sea. 

Years flew by, and every morning Uraschimataro sailed 
his boat into the deep sea. But one day as he was mak- 
ing for a little bay between some rocks, there arose a 
fierce whirlwind, which shattered his boat to pieces, and 
she was sucked under by the waves. Uraschimataro 
himself very nearly shared the same fate. But he was a 
powerful swimmer, and struggled hard to reach the shore. 
Then he saw a large turtle coming towards him, and 
above the howling of the storm he heard what it said : 
4 1 am the turtle whose life you once saved. I will now 
pay my debt aud show my gratitude. The land is still 
far distant, and without my help you would never get 
there. Climb on my back, and I will take you where 
you will.' Uraschimataro did not wait to be asked twice, 
and thankfully accepted his friend's help. But scarcely 
was he seated firmly on the shell, when the turtle pro- 
posed that they should not return to the shore at once, 
but go under the sea, and look at some of the wonders 
that lay hidden there. 

Uraschimataro agreed willingly, and in another moment 
they were deep, deep down, with fathoms of blue water 
above their heads. Oh, how quickly they darted through 
the still, warm sea! The young man held tight, and 
marvelled where they were going and how long they were 
to travel, but for three days they rushed on, till at last 
the turtle stopped before a splendid palace, shining with 
gold and silver, crystal and precious stones, and decked 
here and there with branches of pale pink coral and glit- 
tering pearls. But if Uraschimataro was astonished at 
the beauty of the outside, he was struck dumb at the 
sight of the hall within, which was lighted by the blaze of 
fish scales, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



URASCIIIMATARO AXD THE TURTLE 27 

6 Where have you brought rue ? ' he asked his guide in 
a low voice. 

' To the palace of Riugu, the house of the sea god, 
whose subjects we all are,' answered the turtle. ' I am 




llRn^CHl^nWVRp - 
doe^-Vith-tVie-JvKTLE- 



the first waiting maid of his daughter, the lovely princess 
Otohime, whom you will shortly see.' 

Uraschimataro was still so puzzled with the adventures 
that had befallen him, that he waited in a dazed condition 
far what would happen next. But the turtle, who had 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



L>8 URASCHIMATARO AX J) THE TURTLE 

talked so much of him to the princess that she had 
expressed a wish to see him, went at once to make 
known his arrival. And directly the princess beheld him 
her heart was set on him, and she begged him to stay 
with her, and in return promised that he should never 
grow old, neither should his beauty fade. l Is not that 
reward enough ? ' she asked, smiling, looking all the while 
as fair as the sun itself. And Uraschimataro said 4 Yes,' 
and so he stayed there. For how long? That he only 
knew later. 

His life passed by, and each hour seemed happier than 
the last, when one day there rushed over him a terrible 
longing to see his parents. He fought against it hard, 
knowing how it would grieve the princess, but it grew 
on him stronger and stronger, till at length he became 
so sad that the princess inquired what was wrong. 
Then he told her of the longing he had to visit his old 
home, and that he must see his parents once more. 
The princess was almost frozen with horror, and im- 
plored him to stay with her, or something dreadful would 
be sure to happen. l You will never come back, and 
we shall meet again no more,' she moaned bitterly. 
But Uraschimataro stood firm and repeated, ' Only this 
once will I leave you, and then will I return to your side 
for ever.' Sadly the princess shook her head, but she 
answered slowly, ' One way there is to bring you safely 
back, but I fear you will never agree to the conditions of 
the bargain.' 

4 I will do anything that will bring me back to you,' 
exclaimed Uraschimataro, looking at her tender^, but the 
princess was silent: she knew too well that when he left 
her she would see his face no more. Then she took from 
a shelf a tiny golden box, and gave it to Uraschimataro, 
praying him to keep it carefully, and above all things 
never to open it. : If you can do this,' she said as she 
bade him farewell, 'your friend the turtle will meet you at 
the shore, and will cany you back to me/ 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




3p J 3?^^WmSS^^^ 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



30 URASCHTMATARO AND THE TURTLE 

Uraschimataro thanked her from his heart, and swore 
solemnly to do her bidding. lie hid the box safely in 
his garments, seated himself on the back of the turtle, 
and vanished in the ocean path, waving his hand to the 
princess. Three days and three nights they swam 
through the sea, and at length Uraschimataro arrived at 
the beach which lay before his old home. The turtle 
bade him farewell, and was gone in a moment. 

Uraschimataro drew near to the village with quick 
and joyful steps. lie saw the smoke curling through 
the roof, and the thatch where green plants had thickly 
sprouted. He heard the children shouting and calling, 
and from a window that he passed came the twang of 
the koto, and everything seemed to cry a welcome for 
his return. Yet suddenly he felt a pang at his heart as 
he wandered down the street. After all, everything was 
changed. Neither men nor houses were those he once 
knew. Quickly he saw his old home; yes, it was still 
there, but it had a strange look. Anxiously he knocked 
at the door, and asked the woman who opened it after 
his parents. But she did not know their names, and 
could give him no news of them. 

Still more disturbed, he rushed to the burying ground, 
the only place that could tell him what he wished to 
know. Here at any rate he would find out what it all 
meant. And he was right. In a moment he stood be- 
fore the grave of his parents, and the date written on the 
stone was almost exactly the date when they had lost 
their son, and he had forsaken them for the Daughter of 
the Sea. And so he found that since he had left his 
home, three hundred years had passed by. 

Shuddering with horror at his discovery he turned 
back into the village street, hoping to meet some one 
who could tell him of the days of old. But when the 
man spoke, he knew he was not dreaming, though he felt 
as if he had lost his senses. 

In despair he bethought him of the box which was 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



URASCHIMATARO AND THE TURTLE 31 

the gift of the princess. Perhaps after all this dreadful 
thing was not true. He might be the victim of some 
enchanter's spell, and in his hand lay the counter-charm. 
Almost unconsciously he opened it, and a purple vapour 




came pouring out. He held the empty box in his hand, 
and as he looked he saw that the fresh hand of youth 
had grown suddenly shrivelled, like the hand of an old, 
old man. lie ran to the brook, which flowed in a 
clear stream down from the mountain, and saw himself 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



32 URASGHIMATARO AiYD THE TURTLE 

reflected as in a mirror. It was the face of a mummy 
which looked back at him. Wounded to death, he crept 
back through the village, and no man knew the old, old 
man to be the strong handsome youth who had run down 
the street an hour before. So he toiled wearily back, till 
he reached the shore, and here he sat sadly on a rock, 
and called loudly on the turtle. But she never came 
back any more, but instead, death came soon, and set 
him free. But before that happened, the people who 
saw him sitting lonely on the shore had heard his stoiy, 
and when their children were restless they used to tell 
them of the good son who from love to his parents had 
given up for their sakes the splendour and wonders of 
the palace in the sea, and the most beautiful woman in 
the world besides. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



33 



TEE SLAYING OF THE TANUKI 1 

Near a big river, a ad between two high mountains, a man 
and his wife lived in a cottage a long, long time ago. A 
dense forest lay all round the cottage, and there was 
hardly a path or a tree in the whole wood that was not 
familiar to the peasant from his boyhood. In one of his 
wanderings he had made friends with a hare, and many 
an hour the two passed together, when the man was rest- 
ing by the roadside, eating his dinner. 

Now this strange friendship was observed by the 
Tanuki, a wicked, quarrelsome beast, who hated the 
peasant, and was never tired of doing him an ill turn. 
Again and again he had crept to the hut, and finding some 
choice morsel put away for the little hare, had either eaten 
it if he thought it nice, or trampled it to pieces so that no 
one else should get it, and at last the peasant lost patience, 
and made up his mind he would have the Tanuki's blood. 

So for many days the man lay hidden, waiting for the 
Tanuki to come by, and when one morning he marched 
up the road thinking of nothing but the dinner he was 
going to steal, the peasant threw himself upon him and 
bound his four legs tightly, so that he could not move. 
Then he dragged his enemy joyfully to the house, feeling 
that at length he had got the better of the mischievous 
beast which had done him so many ill turns. 4 He shall 
pay for them with his skin,' he said to his wife. ; We 
will first kill him, and then cook him.' So saying, he 

1 From the Japanische Marchen unci Sagen. 
3 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



U THE SLA YING OF THE TANUKI 

hanged the Tanuki, head downwards, to a beam, and 
went out to gather wood for a fire. 

Meanwhile the old woman was standing at the mortar 
pounding the rice that was to serve them for the week 
with a pestle that made her arms aehe with its weight. 
Suddenly she heard something whining and weeping in 
the corner, and, stopping her work, she looked round to 
see what it was. That was all that the rascal wanted, 
and he put on directly his most humble air, and begged 
the woman in his softest voice to loosen his bonds, which 
were hurting him sorel} 7 . She was filled with pity for 
him, but did not dare to set him free, as she knew that 
her husband would be very angry. The Tanuki, however, 
did not despair, and seeing that her heart was softened, 
began his prayers anew. ' He only asked to have his 
bonds taken from him/ he said. ' lie would give his 
word not to attempt to escape, and if he was once set free 
he could soon pound her rice for her.' l Then you can 
have a little rest,' he went on, 4 for rice pounding is very 
tiring work, and not at all fit for weak women.' These 
last words melted the good woman completely, and she 
unfastened the bonds that held him. Poor foolish crea- 
ture ! In one moment the Tanuki had seized her, stripped 
off all her clothes, and popped her in the mortar. In a 
few minutes more she was pounded as fine as the rice ; and 
not content with that, the Tanuki placed a pot on the 
hearth and made ready to cook the peasant a dinner from 
the flesh of his own wife ! 

When everything was complete he looked out of the 
door, and saw the old man coming from the forest carry- 
ing a large bundle of wood. Quick as lightning the 
Tanuki not only put on the woman's clothes, but, as he 
was a magician, assumed her form as well. Then he took 
the wood, kindled the fire, and very soon set a large din- 
ner before the old man, who was very hungry, and had 
forgotten for the moment all about his enemy. But when 
the Tanuki saw that he had eaten his fill and would be 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



TH£T?vNUJU BUGS TrtfcOLDWOMN 
To 1\E LEASE HIM, 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



36 TEE SLAYING OF THE TANUK1 

thinking about Lis prisoner, he hastily shook off the 
clothes behind a door and took his own shape. Then he 
said to the peasant, ; Your are a nice sort of person to 
seize animals and to talk of killing them ! You are 
caught in your own net. It is your own wife that you 
have eaten, and if you want to find her bones you have 
only to look under the floor.' With these words he 
turned and made for the forest. 

The old peasant grew cold with horror as he listened, 
and seemed frozen to the place where he stood. When 
he had recovered himself a little, he collected the bones 
of his dead wife, buried them in the garden, and swore 
over the grave to be avenged on the Tanuki. After every- 
thing was done he sat himself down in his lonely cottage 
and wept bitterly, and the bitterest thought of all was 
that he would never be able to forget that he had eaten 
his own wife. 

While he was thus weeping and wailing his friend the 
hare passed by, and hearing the noise, pricked up his ears 
and soon recognised the old man's voice. He wondered 
what had happened, and put his head in at the door and 
asked if anything was the matter. With tears and groans 
the peasant told him the whole dreadful story, and the 
hare, filled with anger and compassion, comforted him as 
best he could, and promised to help him in his revenge. 
u The false knave shall not go unpunished,' said he. 

So the first thing he did was to search the house for 
materials to make an ointment, which he sprinkled plen- 
tifully with pepper and then put in his pocket. Next 
he took a hatchet, bade farewell to the old man, and 
departed to the forest. He bent his steps to the dwelling 
of the Tanuki and knocked at the door. The Tanuki, 
who had no cause to suspect the hare, was greatly pleased 
to see him, for he noticed the hatchet at once, and began 
to lay plots how to get hold of it. 

To do this he thought he had better offer to accompany 
the hare, which was exactly what the hare wished and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SLAYING OF THE TANUKI 



37 



expected, for he knew all the Tanuki's cunning, and 
understood his little ways. So he accepted the rascal's 
company with joy, and made himself very pleasant as 
they strolled along. When they were wandering in this 
manner through the forest the hare carelessly raised his 




WE Jj-MUL SETS U<\HTj 
TAK'UKI'S BACK. ' 



hatchet in passing, and cut down some thick boughs that 
were hanging over the path, but at length, after cutting 
down a good big tree, which cost him many hard blows, 
he declared that it was too heavy for him to carry home, 
and he must just leave it where it was. This delighted 
the greedy Tanuki, who said that they would be no weight 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



38 THE SLAYING OF THE TANUKI 

for him, so they collected the large branches, which the 
hare bound tightly on his back. Then he trotted gaily 
to the house, the hare following after with his lighter 
bundle. 

By this time the hare had decided what he would do, 
and as soon as they arrived, he quietly set on fire the 
wood on the back of the Tanuki. The Tanuki, who was 
busy with something else, observed nothing, and only 
called out to ask what was the meaning of the crackling 
that he heard. 4 It is just the rattle of the stones which 
are rolling down the side of the mountain,' the hare said; 
and the Tanuki was content, and made no further remarks, 
never noticing that the noise really sprang from the burn- 
ing boughs on his back, until his fur was in flames, and 
it was almost too late to put it out. Shrieking with pain, 
he let fall the burning wood from his back, and stamped 
and howled with agony. But the hare comforted him, 
and told him that he always carried with him an excellent 
plaster in case of need, which would bring him instant 
relief, and taking out his ointment he spread it on a leaf 
of bamboo, and laid it on the wound. No sooner did it 
touch him than the Tanuki leapt yelling into the air, and 
the hare laughed, and ran to tell his friend the peasant 
what a trick he had played on their enemy. But the old 
man shook his head sadly, for he knew that the villain 
was only crushed for the moment, and that he would 
shortly be revenging himself upon them. No, the only 
way ever to get any peace and quiet was to render the 
Tanuki harmless for ever. Long did the old man and the 
hare puzzle together how this was to be done, and at last 
they decided that they would make two boats, a small one 
of wood and a large one of clay. Then they fell to work 
at once, and when the boats were ready and properly 
painted, the hare went to the Tanuki, who was still very 
ill, and invited him to a great fish-catching. The Tanuki 
was still feeling angry with the hare about the trick he 
had played him, but he was weak and very hungry, so he 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SLAYING OF THE TANVKl 39 

gladly accepted the proposal, and accompanied the hare 
to the bank of the river, where the two boats were moored, 
rocked by the waves. They both looked exactly alike, 
and the Tannki only saw that one was bigger than the 
other, and would hold more fish, so he sprang into the 
large one, while the hare climbed into the one which was 
made of wood. They loosened their moorings, and made 
for the middle of the stream, and when they were at some 
distance from the bank, the hare took his oar, and struck 
such a heavy blow at the other boat, that it broke in two. 
The Tanuki fell straight into the water, and was held 
there by the hare till he was quite dead. Then he put 
the body in his boat and rowed to land, and told the old 
man that his enemy w r as dead at last. And the old man 
rejoiced that his wife w r as avenged, and he took the hare 
into his house, and they lived together all their days in 
peace and quietness upon the mountain. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



40 



THE FLYING TRUNK 1 

There was once a merchant who was so rich that he 
could have paved the whole street, and perhaps even a 
little side-street besides, with silver. But he did not do 
that ; he knew another way of spending his money. If 
he spent a shilling he got back a florin — such an excellent 
merchant he was — till he died. 

Now his son inherited all this money. He lived very 
merrily; he went every night to the theatre, made paper 
kites out of five-pound notes, and played ducks and 
drakes with sovereigns instead of stones. In this way 
the money was likely to come soon to an end, and so it 
did. 

At last he had nothing left but four shillings, and he 
had no clothes except a pair of slippers and an old 
dressing-gown. 

His friends did not trouble themselves any more about 
him ; they would not even walk down the street with 
him. 

But one of them who was rather good-natured sent 
him an old trunk with the message, 'Pack up!' That 
was all very well, but he had nothing to pack up, so he 
got into the trunk himself. 

It was an enchanted trunk, for as soon as the lock 
was pressed it could fly. He pressed it, and away he 
flew in it up the chimney, high into the clouds, further 
and further away. But whenever the bottom gave a 

1 Translated from the German of Hans Andersen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE FLYING TRUNK 41 

little creak he was in terror lest the trunk should go to 
pieces, for then he would have turned a dreadful somer- 
sault — just think of it I 

In this way he arrived at the land of the Turks. He 
hid the trunk in a wood under some dry leaves, and then 
walked into the town. He could do that quite well, for 
all the Turks were dressed just as he was — in a dressing- 
gown and slippers. 

He met a nurse with a little child. 

'Halloa! you Turkish nurse,' said he, 'what is that 
great castle there close to the town ? The one with the 
windows so high up? ' 

4 The sultan's daughter lives there,' she replied. ' It 
is prophesied that she will be very unlucky in her hus- 
band, and so no one is allowed to see her except when 
the sultan and sultana are by.' 

'Thank you,' said the merchant's son, and he went 
into the wood, sat himself in his trunk, flew on to the 
roof, and crept through the window into the princess's 
room . 

She was lying on the sofa asleep, and was so beautiful 
that the young merchant had to kiss her. Then she 
woke up aud was very much frightened, but he said he 
was a Turkish god who had come through the air to see 
her, and that pleased her very much. 

They sat close to each other, and he told her a story 
about her eyes. They were beautiful dark lakes in which 
her thoughts swam about like mermaids. And her fore- 
head was a snowy mountain, grand and shining These 
were lovely stories. 

Then he asked the princess to marry him, and she said 
yes at once. 

' But you must come here on Saturday,' she said, ' for 
then the sultan and the sultana are coming to tea with 
me. They will be indeed proud that I receive the god 
of the Turks. But mind you have a really good story 
ready, for my parents like them immensely. My mother 

Digitized by Microsoft © 



42 



THE FLYIXG TRUNK 



likes something rather moral and high-flown, and my 
father likes something merry to make him laugh.' 

' Yes, I shall only bring a fairy story for my dowry,' 
said he, and so they parted. Cut the princess gave him 
a sabre set with gold pieces which he could use. 




Then he flew away, bought himself a new dressing- 
gown, and sat down in the wood and began to make up 
a story, for it had to be ready by Saturday, and that was 
no easy matter. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE FLYING TRUNK 43 

When lie had it ready it was Saturday. 

The sultan, the sultana, and the whole court were at 
tea with the princess. 

lie was most graciously received. 

4 Will you tell us a story?' said the sultana; 'one 
that is thoughtful and instructive? ' 

' But something that we can laugh at/ said the sultan. 

'Oh, certainly/ he replied, and began: 'Now, listen 
attentively. There was once a box of matches which lay 
between a tinder-box and an old iron pot, and they told 
the story of their youth. 

k u We used to be on the green fir-boughs. Every 
morning and evening we had diamond-tea, which was the 
dew, and the whole day long we had sunshine, and the 
little birds used to tell us stories. We were very rich, 
because the other trees only dressed in summer, but we 
had green dresses in summer and in winter. Then the 
woodcutter came, and our family was split up. We have 
now the task of making light for the lowest people. That 
is why we grand people are in the kitchen." 

' " My fate was quite different," said the iron pot, near 
which the matches lay. 

' " Since I came into the world I have been many times 
scoured, and have cooked much. My only pleasure is to 
have a good chat with my companions when I am lying 
nice and clean in my place after dinner." 

' " Now you are talking too fast," spluttered the fire. 

4 "Yes, let us decide who is the grandest! " said the 
matches. 

' " No, I don't like talking about myself," said the pot. 

' " Let us arrange an evening's entertainment. I will 
tell the story of my life. 

' " On the Baltic by the Danish shore " 

'"AVhat a beautiful beginning!" said all the plates. 
" That's a story that will please us all." 

' And the end was just as good as the beginning. All 
the plates clattered for joy. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



44 THE FLYING TRUNK 

' " Now I will dance/' said the tongs, and she danced. 
Oh ! how high she could kick ! 

' The old chair-cover in the corner split when he saw 
her. 

' The urn would have sung but she said she had a 
cold; she could not sing unless she boiled. 

'In the window was an old quill pen. There was 
nothing remarkable about her except that she had been 
dipped too deeply into the ink. But she was very proud 
of that. 

' " If the urn will not sing," said she, "outside the 
door hangs a nightingale in a cage who will sing." 

'" I don't think it's proper," said the kettle, "that 
such a foreign bird should be heard." 

k ' b Oh, let us have some acting," said everyone. " Do 
let us ! " 

L Suddenly the door opened and the maid came in. 
Everyone was quite quiet. There was not a sound. But 
each pot knew what he might have done, and how grand 
he was. 

6 The maid took the matches and lit the fire with them. 
How they spluttered and flamed, to be sure! "Now 
everyone can see," they thought, tL that we are the grand- 
est! How we sparkle! What a light — — " 

' But here they were burnt out.' 

' That was a delightful story ! ' said the sultana. ' I 
quite feel myself in the kitchen with the matches. Yes, 
now you shall marry our daughter.' 

'Yes, indeed,' said the sultan, 'you shall marry our 
daughter on Monday.' And they treated the young man 
as one of the family. 

The wedding was arranged, and the night before the 
whole town was illuminated. 

Biscuits and gingerbreads were thrown among the 
people, the street boys stood on tiptoe crying hurrahs and 
whistling through their fingers. It was all splendid. 

'Now I must also give them a treat,' thought the 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



46 THE FLYING TRUNK 

merchant's son. And so he bought rockets, crackers, and 
all the kinds of fireworks you can think of, put them in 
his trunk, and flew up with them into the air. 

Whirr-r-r, how they fizzed and blazed ! 

All the Turks jumped so high that their slippers flew 
above their heads ; such a splendid glitter they had never 
seen before. 

Xow they could quite well understand that it was the 
god of the Turks himself who was to many the princess. 

As soon as the young merchant came down again into 
the wood with his trunk he thought, fc Now 1 will just go 
into the town to see how the show has taken.' 

And it was quite natural that he should want to do 
this. 

Oh ! what stories the people had to tell ! 

Each one whom he asked had seen it differently, but 
they had all found it beautiful. 

' I saw the Turkish god himself,' said one. ' He had 
eyes like glittering stars, and a beard like foaming water.' 

' He flew away in a cloak of fire,' said another. They 
were splendid things that he heard, and the next day was 
to be his wedding day. 

Then he went back into the wood to sit in his trunk ; 
but what had become of it? The trunk had been burnt. 
A spark of the fireworks had set it alight, and the trunk 
was in ashes. He could no longer fly. and could never 
reach his bride. 

She stood the whole day long on the roof and waited; 
perhaps she is waiting there still. 

But he wandered through the world and told stories; 
but they are not so merry as the one he told about the 
matches. 



Digitized by Microsoft © 



47 



THE SNOW-MAN 1 

i How astonishingly cold it is ! My body is cracking all 
over ! ' said the Snow-man. ' The wind is really cutting 
one's very life out ! And how that fiery thing up there 
glares ! ' He meant the sun, which was just setting. 
4 It sha'n't make me blink, though, and I shall keep quite 
cool and collected.' 

Instead of eyes he had two large three-cornered pieces 
of slate in his head ; his mouth consisted of an old rake, 
so that he had teeth as well. 

He was born amidst the shouts and laughter of the 
boys, and greeted by the jingling bells and cracking 
whips of the sledges. 

The sun went down, the full moon rose, large, round, 
clear and beautiful, in the dark blue sky. 

4 There it is again on the other side!' said the Snow- 
man, by which he meant the sun was appearing again. 
4 T have become quite accustomed to its glaring. I hope 
it will hang there and shine, so that I may be able to see 
myself. I wish I knew, though, how one ought to set 
about changing one's position. I should very much like 
to move about. If I only could, I would glide up and 
down the ice there, as I saw the boys doing ; but some- 
how or other, I don't know how to run.' 

' Bow-wow ! ' barked the old yard-dog; he was rather 
hoarse and could n't bark very well. His hoarseness 

1 Translated from the German of Hans Christian Andersen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



48 TEE SX0W-3IAN 

came on when he was a house-dog and used to lie in 
front of the stove, w The sun will soon teach you to run ! 
I saw that last winter with your predecessor, and farther 
back still with his predecessors ! They have all run 
away- ! ' 

' I don't understand you, rny friend,' said the Snow- 
man. 'That thing up there is to teach me to run?' He 
meant the moon. ' Well, it certainly did run just now, 
for I saw it quite plainly over there, and now here it is 
on this side/ 

' You know nothing at all about it,' said the yard-dog. 
' Why, you have only just been made. The thing you see 
there is the moon ; the other thing you saw going down 
the other side was the sun. He will come up again to- 
morrow morning, and will soon teach you how to run 
away down the gutter. The weather is going to change ; 
I feel it already by the pain in my left hind-leg; the 
weather is certainty going to change.' 

' I can't understand him,' said the Snow-man; ' but I 
have an idea that he is speaking of something unpleasant. 
That thing that glares so, and then disappears, the sun, 
as he calls it, is not my friend, I know that by instinct,' 

4 Bow-wow ! ' barked the yard-dog, and walked three 
times round himself, and then crept into his kennel to 
sleep. The weather really did change. Towards morning 
a dense damp fog lay over the whole neighbourhood ; 
later on came an icy wind, which sent the frost packing. 
But when the sun rose, it was a glorious sight. The 
trees and shrubs were covered with rime, and looked like 
a wood of coral, and every branch was thick with long- 
white blossoms. The most delicate twigs, which are lost 
among the foliage in summer-time, came now into pro- 
minence, and it was like a spider's web of glistening 
white. The lady-birches waved in the wind ; and when 
the sun shone, everything glittered and sparkled as if it 
were sprinkled with diamond dust, and great diamonds 
were lying on the snowy carpet. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



50 THE SNOW-MAN 

1 Is n't it wonderful ? ' exclaimed a girl who was walk- 
ing with a young man in the garden. They stopped near 
the Snow-man, and looked at the glistening trees. 
1 Summer cannot show a more beautiful sight,' she said, 
witli her eyes shining. 

1 And one can't get a fellow like this in summer either,' 
said the young man, pointing to the Snow-man. ' He 's a 
beauty ! 

The girl laughed, and nodded to the Snow-man, and 
then they both danced away over the snow. 

< AVho were those two?' asked the Snow-man of the 
yard-dog. ' You have been in this yard longer than I 
have. Do you know who they are? ' 

4 Do I know them indeed?' answered the yard-dog. 
' She has often stroked me, and he has given me bones. 
I don't bite either of them ! ' 

4 But what are they?' asked the Snow-man. 

' Lovers ! ' replied the yard-dog. 4 They will go into 
one kennel and gnaw the same bone ! ' 

'Are they the same kind of beings that we are?' 
asked the Snow-man. 

'They are our masters,' answered the yard-dog. 
4 Really people who have only been in the world one day 
know very little ! That 's the conclusion I have come to. 
Now I have age and wisdom; I know everyone in the 
house, and I can remember a time when I was not lying 
here in a cold kennel. Bow-wow! ' 

'The cold is spleudid,' said the Snow-man. i Tell me 
some more. But don't rattle your chain so, it makes me 
crack ! ' 

' Bow-wow ! ' barked the yard-dog. i They used to 
say I was a pretty little fellow ; then I lay in a velvet- 
covered chair in my master's house. My mistress used 
to nurse me, and kiss and fondle me, and call me her 
dear, sweet little Alice ! But by-and-by I grew too big, 
and I was given to the housekeeper, and I went into the 
kitchen. You can see into it from where you are standing ; 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SNOW-MAN 51 

you can look at the room in which I was master, for so I 
was when I was with the housekeeper. Of course it was 
a smaller place than upstairs, but it was more comfortable, 
for I was n't chased about and teased by the children as I 
had been before. My food was just as good, or even 
better. I had my own pillow, and there was a stove there, 
which at this time of year is the most beautiful thing in 
the world. I used to creep right under that stove. Ah 
me ! I often dream of that stove still ! Bow-wow ! ' 

w Js a stove so beautiful?' asked tne Snow-man. 'Is 
it anything like me? ' 

4 It is just the opposite of you! It is coal-black, and 
has a long neck with a brass pipe. It eats firewood, so 
that fire spouts out of its mouth. One litis to keep close 
beside it — quite underneath is the nicest of all. You can 
see it through the window from where you are standing.' 

And the Snow-man looked in that direction, and saw a 
smooth polished object with a brass pipe. The nicker 
from the fire reached him across the snow. The Snow- 
man felt wonderfull} 7 happy, and a feeling came over him 
which he could not express ; but all those who are not 
snow-men know about it. 

I Why did you leave her?' asked the Snow-man. He 
had a feeling that such a being must be a lady. 4 How 
could you leave such a place? ' 

I I had to 1 ' said the yard-dog. 'They turned me out 
of doors, and chained me up here. I had bitten the 
youngest boy in the leg, because he took away the bone I 
was gnawing; a bone for a bone, I thought! But they 
were very angry, and from that time I have been chained 
here, and I have lost my voice. Don't you hear how 
hoarse I am? Bow-wow! I can't speak like other dogs. 
Bow-wow ! That was the end of happiness ! ' 

The Snow-man, however, was not listening to him any 
more ; he was looking into the room where the house- 
keeper lived, where the stove stood on its four iron legs, 
and seemed to be just the same size as the Snow-man. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



52 THE SNOW-MAX 

i How something is cracking inside me ! ' he said. 
' Shall I never be able to get in there? It is certainly a 
very innocent wish, and our innocent wishes ought to be 
fulfilled. I must get there, and lean against the stove, if 
I have to break the window first ! ' 

c You will never get inside there! ' said the yard-dog; 
' and if you were to reach the stove you would disappear. 
Bow-wow! ' 

k I 'm as good as gone already ! ' answered the Snow- 
man. k I believe I 'm breaking up ! ' 

The whole day the Snow-man looked through the 
window ; towards dusk the room grew still more inviting; 
the stove gave out a mild light, not at all like the moon 
or even the sun ; no, as only a stove can shine, when it 
has something to feed upon. AVhen the door of the room 
was open, it flared up — this was one of its peculiarities; 
it flickered quite red upon the Snow-man's white face. 

' I can't stand it any longer ! ' he said. ; How beauti- 
ful it looks with its tongue stretched out like that! ' 

It was a long night but the Snow-man did not find it 
so; there he stood, wrapt in his pleasant thoughts, and 
they froze, so that he cracked. 

Next morning the panes of the kitchen window were 
covered with ice, and the most beautiful ice-flowers that 
even a snow-man could desire, only they blotted out the 
stove. The window would not open ; he could n't see the 
stove which he thought was such a lovely lady. There 
was a cracking and cracking inside him and all around; 
there was just such a frost as a snow-man would delight 
in. But this Snow-man was different: how could he feel 
happy ? 

4 Yours is a bad illness for a Snow-man ! ' said the 
yard-dog. 6 1 also suffered from it, but I have got over 
it. Bow-wow!' he barked. 'The weather is going to 
change!' he added. 

The weather did change. There came a thaw. 

When this set in the Snow-man set off. He did not 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SNOW-MAN 53 

say anything, and he did not complain, and those are bad 
signs. 

One morning he broke up altogether. And lo! where 
he had stood there remained a broomstick standing up- 
right, round which the boys had built him ! 

4 Ah! now I understand why he loved the stove,' said 
the yard-dog. 4 That is the raker they use to clean out 
the stove ! The Snow-man had a stove-raker in his 
body ! That 's what was the matter with him I And now 
it 's all over with him ! Bow-wow ! ' 

And before long it was all over with the winter too ! 
1 Bow-wow ! ' barked the hoarse yard-dog. 

But the young girl sang : 

Woods, your bright green garments don ! 
Willows, jour woolly gloves put on ! 
Lark and cuckoo, daily sing — 
February has brought the spring ! 
My heart joins in your song so sweet ; 
Come out, dear sun, the world to greet ! 

And no one thought of the Snow-man. 



Digitized by Microsoft © 



54 



THE SHIRT-COLLAR 1 

There was once a fine gentleman whose entire worldly 
possessions consisted of a boot-jack and a hair- brush ; but 
he had the most beautiful shirt-collar in the world, and it 
is about this that we are going to hear a story. 

The shirt-collar was so old that he began to think 
about marrying; and it happened one day that he and a 
garter came into the wash-tub together. 

4 Hulloa ! ' said the shirt-collar, 4 never before have I 
seen anything so slim and delicate, so elegant and pretty! 
May I be permitted to ask your name? ' 

4 I shan't tell you,' said the garter. 

4 Where is the place of your abode? ' asked the shirt- 
collar. 

But the garter was of a bashful disposition, and did 
not think it proper to answer. 

'Perhaps you are a girdle?' said the shirt-collar — 4 an 
under girdle? for I see that you are for use as well as 
for ornament, my pretty miss ! ' 

4 You ought not to speak to me ! ' said the garter ; 
4 I 'm sure I have n't given you any encouragement ! ' 

4 When anyone is as beautiful as you,' said the shirt- 
collar, ' is not that encouragement enough? ' 

L Go away, don't come so close ! ' said the garter. 
4 You seem to be a gentleman ! ' 

4 So I am, and a very fine one too ! ' said the shirt- 
collar ; 4 I possess a boot-jack and a hair-brush ! ' 

1 Translated from the German of Hans Christian Andersen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SHIRT-COLLAR 55 

That was not true ; it was his master who owned these 
things ; but he was a terrible boaster . 

'Don't come so close,' said the garter. 'I'm not 
accustomed to such treatment ! ' 

4 What affectation ! ' said the shirt-collar. And then 
they were taken out of the wash-tub, starched, and hung 
on a chair in the sun to dry, and then laid on the ironing- 
board. Then came the glowing iron. 

4 Mistress widow ! ' said the shirt-collar, ' dear mistress 
widow! I am becoming another man, all my creases 
are coming out ; you are burning a hole in me ! Ugh ! 
Stop, I implore you ! ' 

4 You rag ! ' said the iron, travelling proudly over the 
shirt-collar, for it thought it was a steam-engine and 
ought to be at the station drawing trucks. 

4 Rag! ' it said. 

The shirt-collar was rather frayed out at the edge, so 
the scissors came to cut off the threads. 

4 Oh ! ' said the shirt-collar, 4 you must be a dancer ! 
How high you can kick ! That is the most beautiful 
thing 1 have ever seen ! No man can imitate you ! ' 

4 1 know that! ' said the scissors. 

4 You ought to be a duchess ! ' said the shirt- collar. 
4 My worldly possessions consist of a fine gentleman, a 
boot-jack, and a hair-brush. If only I had a duchy! ' 

? What! He wants to marry me?' said the scissors, 
and she was so angry that she gave the collar a sharp 
snip, so that it had to be cast aside as good for nothing. 

4 Well, I shall have to propose to the hair-brush ! ' 
thought the shirt-collar. ' It is really wonderful what 
fine hair you have, madam ! Have you never thought of 
marrying? ' 

4 Yes, that I have!' answered the hair-brush; 'I'm 
engaged to the boot- jack ! ' 

4 Engaged ! ' exclaimed the shirt-collar. And now 
there was no one he could marry, so he took to despising 
matrimony. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



56 THE SHIRT-COLLAR 

Time passed, and the shirt-collar came in a rag-bag 
to the paper-mill. There was a large assortment of rags, 
the fine ones in one heap, and the coarse ones in another, 
as they should be. They had all much to tell, but no 
one more than the shirt-collar, for he was a hopeless 
braggart. 

' I have had a terrible number of love affairs ! ' he 
said. l They gave me no peace. I was such a fine 
gentleman, so stiff with starch! I had a boot- jack and a 
hair-brush, which I never used ! You should just have 
seen me then! Never shall I forget my first love ! She 
was a girdle, so delicate and soft and pretty ! She threw 
herself into a wash-tub for my sake! Then there was 
a widow, who glowed with love for me. But I left her 
alone, till she became black. Then there was the dancer, 
who inflicted the wound which has caused me to be here 
now; she was very violent ! My own hair-brush was in 
love with me, and lost all her hair in consequence. Yes, 
I have experienced much in that line ; but I grieve most 
of all for the garter, — I mean, the girdle, who threw 
herself into a wash-tub. I have much on my conscience ; 
it is high time for me to become white paper ! ' 

And so he did ! he became white paper, the very 
paper on which this story is printed. And that was 
because he had boasted so terribly about things which 
were not true. We should take this to heart, so that it 
may not happen to us, for we cannot indeed tell if we 
may not some day come to the rag-bag, and be made 
into white paper, on which will be printed our whole 
history, even the most secret parts, so that we too go 
about the world relating it, like the shirt-collar. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



57 



THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST* 

There were once a king and a queen who lived in a 
beautiful castle, and had a large, and fair, and rich, and 
happy land to rule over. From the very first they loved 
each other greatly, and lived very happily together, but 
they had no heir. 

They had been married for seven years, but had 
neither son nor daughter, and that was a great grief to 
both of them. More than once it happened than when 
the king was in a bad temper, he let it out on the poor 
queen, and said that here they were now, getting old, and 
neither they nor the kingdom had an heir, and it was all 
her fault. This was hard to listen to, and she went and 
cried and vexed herself. 

Finally, the king said to her one day, l This can't be 
borne any longer. I go about childless, and it 's your fault. 
I am going on a journey and shall be away for a year. 
If you have a child when I come back again, all will be 
well, and I shall love } t ou be} T ond all measure, and never 
more say an angry word to you. But if the nest is just 
as empty when I come home, then I must part with you.' 

After the king had set out on his journey, the queen 
went about in her loneliness, and sorrowed and vexed 
herself more than ever. At last her maid said to her one 
day, 1 1 think that some help could be found, if your 
majesty would seek it.' Then she told about a wise old 
woman in that country, who had helped many in troubles 

1 Translated from the Danish- 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



58 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 

of the same kind, and could no doubt help the queen as 
well, if she would send for her. The queen did so, and 
the wise woman came, and to her she confided her 
sorrow, that she was childless, and the king and his 
kingdom had no heir. 

The wise woman knew help for this. 4 Out in the 
king's garden/ said she, ' under the great oak that stands 
on the left hand, just as one goes out from the castle, is a 
little bush, rather brown than green, with hairy leaves 
and long spikes. On that bush there are just at this 
moment three buds. If your majesty goes out there 
alone, fasting, before sunrise, and takes the middle one 
of the three buds, and eats it, then in six months you 
will bring a princess into the world. As soon as she is 
born, she must have a nurse, whom I shall provide, and 
this nurse must live with the child in a secluded part of 
the palace ; no other person must visit the child ; neither 
the king nor the queen must see it until it is fourteen 
years old, for that would cause great sorrow and mis- 
fortune.' 

The queen rewarded the old woman richly, and next 
morning, before the sun rose, she was down in the 
garden, found at once the little bush with the three buds, 
plucked the middle one and ate it. It was sweet to 
taste, but afterwards was as bitter as gall. Six months 
after this, she brought into the world a little girl. There 
was a nurse in readiness, whom the wise woman had 
provided, and preparations were made for her living with 
the child, quite alone, in a secluded wing of the castle, 
looking out on the pleasure-park. The queen did as the 
wise woman had told her ; she gave up the child immedi- 
ately, and the nurse took it and lived with it there. 

When the king came home and heard that a daughter 
had been born to him, he was of course very pleased and 
happy, and wanted to see her at once. 

The queen had then to tell him this much of the 
story, that it had been foretold that it would cause great 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE PRIXCESS IN THE CHEST 



59 



sorrow and misfortune if either he or she got a sight of 
the child until it had completed its fourteenth year. 

This was a long time to wait. The king longed so 
much to get a sight of his daughter, and the queen no less 
than he, but she knew that it was not like other children, 
for it could speak immediately after it was born, and was 




as wise as older folk. This the nurse had told her, for 
with her the queen had a talk now and again, but there 
was no one else who had ever seen the princess. The 
queen had also seen what the w T ise woman could do, so 
she insisted strongly that her warning should be obeyed. 
The king often lost his patience, and was determined to 
see his daughter, but the queen always put him off the 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



60 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 

idea, and so things went on, until the very day before 
the princess completed her fourteenth year. 

The king and the queen were out in the garden then, 
and the king said, ' Now I can't and I won't wait any 
longer. I must see my daughter at once. A few hours, 
more or less, can't make any difference.' 

The queen begged him to have patience till the 
morning. When they had waited so long, they could 
surely wait a single day more. But the king was quite 
unreasonable. 'No nonsense,' said he; 'she is just as 
much mine as yours, and I will see her,' and with that he 
went straight up to her room. 

He burst the door open, and pushed aside the nurse, 
who tried to stop him, and there he saw his daughter. 
She was the loveliest young princess, red and white, like 
milk and blood, with clear blue eyes and golden hair, 
but right in the middle of her forehead there was a little 
tuft of brown hair. 

The princess went to meet her father, fell on his neck 
and kissed him, but with that she said, 4 O father, father! 
what have you done now? to-morrow I must die, and 
you must choose one of three things : either the land 
must be smitten by the black pestilence, or you must 
have a long and bloody war, or you must, as soon as I 
am dead, lay me in a plain wooden chest, and set it in 
the church, and for a whole year place a sentinel beside 
it every night.' 

The king was frightened indeed, and thought she was 
raving, but in order to please her, he said, ' Well, of these 
three things I shall choose the last ; if you die, I shall 
lay you at once in a plain wooden chest, and have it set 
in the church, and every night I shall place a sentinel 
beside it. But you shall not die, even if you are ill now.' 

He immediately summoned all the best doctors in the 
country, and they came with all their prescriptions and 
their medicine bottles, but next day the princess was 
stiff and cold in death. All the doctors could certify to 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 61 

that, and they all put their names to this and appended 
their seals, and then they had done all they could. 

The king kept his promise. The princess's body was 
lain the same day in a plain wooden chest, and set in 
the chapel of the castle, and on that night and every 
night after it, a sentinel was posted in the church, to 
keep watch over the chest. 

The first morning when they came to let the sentinel 
out, there was no sentinel there. They thought he had 
just got frightened and run away, and next evening a 
new one was posted in the church. In the morning he 
was also gone. So it went every night. When they 
came in the morning to let the sentinel out, there was no 
one there, and it was impossible to discover which way 
he had gone if he had run away. And what should they 
run away for, every one of them, so that nothing more 
was ever heard or seen of them, from the hour that they 
were set on guard beside the princess's chest? 

It became now a general belief that the princess's 
ghost walked, and ate up all those who were to guard 
her chest, and very soon there was no one left who 
would be placed on this duty, and the king's soldiers 
deserted the service, before their turn came to be her 
bodyguard. The king then promised a large reward to 
the soldier who would volunteer for the post. This did 
for some time, as there were found a few reckless fellows, 
who wished to earn this good payment. But they never 
got it, for in the morning they too had disappeared like 
the rest. 

So it had gone on for something like a whole year; 
every night a sentinel had been placed beside the chest, 
either by compulsion or of his own free will, but not a 
single one of the sentinels was to be seen, either on the 
following day or any time thereafter. And so it had also 
gone witli one, on the night before a certain day, when a 
merry young smith came wandering to the town where 
the king's castle stood. It was the capital of the countrv. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



62 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 

and people of every kind came to it to get work. This 
smith, whose name was Christian, had come for that 
same purpose. There was no work for him in the place 
he belonged to, and he wanted now to seek a place in the 
capital. 

There he entered an inn where he sat down in the 
public room, and got something to eat. Some under- 
otiicers were sitting there, who were out to try to get 
some one enlisted to stand sentry. They had to go in 
this way, day after day, and hitherto they had always 
succeeded in finding one or other reckless fellow. But 
on this day they had, as yet, found no one. It was too 
well known how all the sentinels disappeared, who were 
set on that post, and all that they had got hold of had 
refused with thanks. These sat down beside Christian, 
and ordered drinks, and drank along with him. Now 
Christian was a merry fellow who liked good company ; 
he could both drink and sing, and talk and boast as well, 
when he got a little drop in his head. He told these 
under-officers that he was one of that kind of folk who 
never are afraid of anything. Then he was just the kind 
of man they liked, said they, and he might easily earn a 
good penny, before he was a day older, for the king paid 
a hundred dollars to anyone who would stand as sentinel 
in the church all night, beside his daughter's chest. 

Christian was not afraid of that — he wasn't afraid of 
anything, so they drank another bottle of wine on this, 
and Christian went with them up to the colonel, where 
he was put into uniform, with musket, and all the rest, 
and was then shut up in the church, to stand as sentinel 
that night. 

It was eight o 'clock when he took up his post, and 
for the first hour he was quite proud of his courage; 
during the second hour he was well pleased with the 
large reward that he would get, but in the third hour, 
when it was getting near eleven, the effects of the wine 
passed off, and he began to get uncomfortable, for he 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST G3 

had heard about this post ; that no oue had ever escaped 
alive from it, so far as was known. But neither did any- 
one know what had become of all the sentinels. The 
thought of this ran in his head so much, after the wine 
was out of it, that he searched about everywhere for a 
way of escape, and finally, at eleven o'clock, he found a 
little postern in the steeple, which was not locked, and 
out at this he crept intending to run away. 

At the same moment as he put his foot outside the 
church door, he saw standing before him a little man, 
who said, ' Good evening, Christian, where are you 
going ? ' 

With that he felt as if he were rooted to the spot 
and could not move. 

4 Nowhere,' said he. 

' Oh, yes,' said the little man, ' you were just about to 
run away, but you have taken upon you to stand sentine 1 
in the church to-night, and there you must stay.' 

Christian said, very humbly, that he dared not, and 
therefore wanted to get away, and begged to be let go. 

' No,' said the little one, ' you must remain at your 
post, but I shall give you a piece of good advice; you 
shall go up into the pulpit, and remain standing there. 
You need never mind what you see or hear, it will not be 
able to do you any harm, if you remain in your place 
until you hear the lid of the chest slam down again behind 
the dead : then all danger is past, and you can go about 
the church, wherever you please.' 

The little man then pushed him in at the door again, 
and locked it after him. Christian made haste to get up 
into the pulpit, and stood there, without noticing anything, 
until the clock struck twelve. Then the lid of the 
princess's chest sprang up, and out of it there came 
something like the Princess, dressed as you see in the 
picture. It shrieked and howled, ' Sentry, where are 
you? Sentry, where are you? If you don't come, you 
shall get the most cruel death anyone has ever got.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



G4 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 

It went all round the church, and when it finally 
caught sight of the smith, up in the pulpit, it came 
rushing thither aud mounted the steps. But it could not 
get up the whole way, and for all that it stretched and 
strained, it could not touch Christian, who meanwhile 
stood and trembled up in the pulpit. When the clock 
struck one, the appearance had to go back into the chest 
again, and Christian heard the lid slam after it. After 
this there was dead silence in the church. He lay down 
where he was and fell asleep, and did not awake before 
it was bright daylight, and he heard steps outside, and 
the noise of the key being put into the lock. Then he 
came down from the pulpit, and stood with his musket 
in front of the princess's chest. 

It was the colonel himself who came with the patrol, 
and he was not a little surprised when he found the 
recruit safe and sound. lie wanted to have a report, but 
Christian would give him none, so he took him straight 
up to the king, and announced for the first time that 
here was the sentinel who had stood guard in the church 
over-night. The king immediately got out of bed, and 
laid the hundred dollars for him on the table, and then 
wanted to question him. ' Have you seen anything ? ' said 
he. 'Have you seen my daughter?' C I have stood at 
my post,' said the young smith, ' and that is quite enough; 
I undertook nothing more.' He was not sure whether 
he dared tell what he had seen and heard, and besides he 
was also a little conceited because he had done what no 
other man had been able to do, or had had courage for. 
The king professed to be quite satisfied, and asked him 
whether he would engage himself to stand on guard again 
the following night. fc No, thank you,' said Christian, ' I 
will have no more of that ! ' 

4 As you please,' said the king, ' you have behaved like 
a brave fellow, and now you shall have your breakfast. 
You must be needing something to strengthen you after 
that turn/ 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



06 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 

The king had breakfast laid for him, and sat down at 
the table with him in person ; he kept constantly filling 
his glass for him and praising him, and drinking his 
health. Christian needed no pressing, but did full justice 
both to the food and drink, and not least to the latter. 
Finally he grew bold, and said that if the king would give 
him two hundred dollars for it, he was his man to stand 
sentry next night as well. 

When this was arranged, Christian bade him ; Good- 
day/ and went down among the guards, and then out 
into the town along with other soldiers and under-officers. 
He had his pocket full of money, and treated them, and 
drank with them and boasted and made game of the 
good-for-nothings who were afraid to stand on guard, 
because they were frightened that the dead princess 
would eat them. See whether she had eaten him! So 
the day passed in mirth and glee, but when eight o'clock 
came, Christian was again shut up in the church, all 
alone. 

Before he had been there two hours, he got tired of it, 
and thought only of getting away. He found a little door 
behind the altar which was not locked, and at ten o'clock 
he slipped out at it, and took to his heels and made for 
the beach. He had got half-way thither, when all at once 
the same little man stood in front of him and said, ' Good 
evening, Christian, where are you going? ' ' I 've leave to go 
where I please,' said the smith, but at the same time he 
noticed that he could not move a foot. ' No, you have 
undertaken to keep guard to-night as well,' said the little 
man. ' and you must attend to that.' He then took hold of 
him, and, however unwilling he was, Christian had to go 
with him right back to the same little door that he had 
crept out at. When they got there, the little man said to 
him, ' Go in front of the altar now, and take in your hand 
the book that is lying there. There you shall stay till you 
hear the lid of the chest slam down over the dead. In 
that way you will come to no harm.' 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 67 

"With that, the little man shoved him in at the door, 
and locked it. Christian then immediately went in front 
of the altar, and took the book in his hand, and stood 
thus until the clock struck twelve, and the appearance 
sprang out of the chest. L Sentry, where are you ? Sentry, 
where are you? ' it shrieked, and then rushed to the pulpit, 
and right up into it. But there was no one there that 
night. Then it howled and shrieked again, 

My father has set no sentry in, 
War and Pest this night begin. 

At the same moment, it noticed the smith standing in 
front of the altar, and came rushing towards him. ' Are 
you there?' it screamed; 'now I'll catch you.' But it 
could not come up over the step in front of the altar, and 
there it continued to howl, and scream, and threaten, 
until the clock struck one, when it had to go into the 
chest again, and Christian heard the lid slam above it. 
That night, however, it had not the same appearance as 
on the previous one ; it was less ugly. 

When all was quiet in the church, the smith lay 
down before the altar and slept calmly till the following 
morning, when the colonel came to fetch him. He was 
taken up to the king again, and things went as on the 
day before. He got his money, but would give no 
explanation whether he had seen the king's daughter, 
and he would not take the post again, he said. But after 
he had got a good breakfast, and tasted well of the king's 
wines, he undertook to go on guard again the third night, 
but he would not do it for less than the half of the king- 
dom, he said, for it was a dangerous post, and the king had 
to agree, and promise him this. 

The remainder of the day went like the previous one. 
He played the boastful soldier, and the merry smith, and 
he had comrades and boon-companions in plenty. At 
eight o'clock he had to put on his uniform again, and was 
shut up in the church. He had not been there for an 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



68 THE PRINCESS IX THE CHEST 

hour before he had come to his senses, and thought, ' It 's 
best to stop now, while the game is going well.' The 
third night, he was sure, would be the worst; he had 
been drunk when he promised it, and the half of the 
kingdom, the king could never have been in earnest about 
that! So he decided to leave, without waiting so long as 
on the previous nights. In that way he would escape 
the little man who had watched him before. All the 
doors and posterns were locked, but he finally thought 
of creeping up to a window, and opening that, and as the 
clock struck nine, he crept out there. It was fairly high 
in the wall, but he got to the ground with no bones 
broken, and started to run. He got down to the shore 
without meeting anyone, and there he got into a boat, 
and pushed off from land. He laughed immensely to 
himself at the thought of how cleverly he had managed 
and how he had cheated the little man. Just then he 
heard a voice from the shore, ' Good evening, Christian, 
where are you going?' He gave* no answer. 'To-night 
your legs will be too short,' he thought, and pulled at the 
oars. But he then felt something lay hold of the boat, 
and drag it straight into shore, for all that he sat and 
struggled with the oars. 

The man then laid hold of him, and said, ' You must 
remain at your post, as you have promised,' and whether 
he liked it or not, Christian had just to go back with him 
the whole way to the church. 

He could never get in at that window again, Christian 
said ; it was far too high up. 

' You must go in there, and you shall go in there,' said 
the little man, and with that he lifted him up on to the 
window-sill. Then he said to him: 'Notice well now 
what you have to do. This evening you must stretch 
yourself out on the left-hand side of her chest. The lid 
opens to the right, and she comes out to the left. When 
she has got out of the chest and passed over yon, } T ou 
must get into it and lie there, and that in a hurry, without 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 69 

her seeing you. There you must remain lying until clay 
dawns, and whether she threatens or entreats you, you 
must not come out of it, or give her any answer. Then 
she has no power over you, and both you and she are 
freed/ 

The smith then had to go in at the window, just as he 
came out, and went and laid himself all his length on the 
left side of the princess's chest, close up to it, and there 
he lay as stiff as a rock until the clock struck twelve. 
Then the lid sprang up to the right, and the princess 
came out, straight over him, and rushed round the church, 
howling and shrieking ' Sentry, where are you? Sentry, 
where are you?' She went towards the altar, and 
right up to it, but there was no one there ; then she 
screamed again, 

My father lias set no sentry in, 
War and Pest will now begin. 

Then she went round the whole church, both up and 
down, sighing and weeping, 

My father has set no sentry in, 
War and Pest will now begin. 

Then she went away again, and at the same moment the 
clock in the tower struck one. 

Then the smith heard in the church a soft music 
which grew louder and louder, and soon filled the whole 
building. He heard also a multitude of footsteps, as if 
the church was being filled with people. He heard the 
priest go through the service in front of the altar, and 
there was singing more beautiful than he had ever heard 
before. Then he also heard the priest offer up a prayer 
of thanksgiving because the land had been freed from 
war and pestilence, and from all misfortune, and the 
king's daughter was delivered from the evil one. Many 
voices joined in, and a hymn of praise was sung; then 
he heard the priest again, and heard his own name and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



70 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 

that of the princess, and thought that he was being 
wedded to her. The church was packed full,* but he 
could see nothing. Then he heard again the many foot- 
steps as of folk leaving the church, while the music 
sounded fainter and fainter, until it altogether died away. 
When it was silent, the light of clay began to break in 
through the windows. 

The smith sprang up out of the chest and fell on his 
knees and thanked God. The church was empty, but up 
in front of the altar lay the princess, white and red, like 
a human being, but sobbing and crying, and shaking with 
cold in her white shroud. The smith took his sentry 
coat and wrapped it round her; then she dried her tears, 
and took his hand and thanked him, and said that he had 
now freed her from all the sorcery that had been in her 
from her birth, and which had come over her again when 
her father broke the command against seeing her until 
she had completed her fourteenth year. 

She said further, that if he who had delivered her 
would take her in marriage, she would be his. If not, 
she would go into a nunnery, and he could marry no 
other as long as she lived, for he was wedded to her with 
the service of the dead, which he had heard. 

She was now the most beautiful young princess that 
anyone could wish to see, and he was now lord of half 
the kingdom, which had been promised him for standing 
on guard the third night. So they agreed that they 
would have each other, and love each other all their 
days. 

With the first sunbeam the watch came and opened 
the church, and not only was the colonel there, but the 
king in person, come to see what had happened to the 
sentinel. He found them both sitting hand in hand on 
the step in front of the altar, and immediately knew his 
daughter again, and took her in his arms, thanking God 
and her deliverer. He made no objections to what they 
had arranged, and so Christian the smith held his wedding 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



72 THE PRINCESS IN THE CHEST 

with the princess, and got half the kingdom at once, and 
the whole of it when the king died. 

As for the other sentries, with so many doors and 
windows open, no doubt they had run away, and gone 
into the Prussian service. And as for what Christian 
said he saw, he had been drinking more wine than was 
good for him. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



73 



THE THREE BROTHERS 1 

There was once a man who had three sous, and no 
other possessions beyond the house in which he lived. 
Now the father loved his three sons equally, so that he 
could not make up his mind which of them should have 
the house after his death, because he did not wish to 
favour any one more than the others. And he did not 
want to sell the house, because it had belonged to his 
family for generations ; otherwise he could have divided 
the money equally amongst them. At last an idea struck 
him, and he said to his sons : i You must all go out into 
the world, and look about you, and each learn a trade, 
and then, when you return, whoever can produce the best 
masterpiece shall have the house.' 

The sons were quite satisfied. The eldest wished to 
be a blacksmith, the second a barber, and the third a 
fencing-master. They appointed a time when they were 
to return home, and then they all set out. 

It so happened that each found a good master, where 
he learnt all that was necessary for his trade in the best 
possible way. The blacksmith had to shoe the king's 
horses, and thought to himself, ' Without doubt the 
house will be yours ! ' The barber shaved the best men in 
the kingdom, and he, too, made sure that the house 
would be his. The fencing-master received many a blow, 
but he set his teeth, and would not allow himself to be 

1 Translated from the German of the Brothers Grimm. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



74 THE THREE BROTHERS 

troubled by them, for he thought to himself, ' If you are 
afraid of a blow you will never get the house.' 

When the appointed time had come the three 
brothers met once more, and they bat down and discussed 
the best opportunity of showing off their skill. Just then 
a hare came running across the held towards them. 
1 Look ! ' said the barber, * here comes something in the 
nick of time!' seized basin and soap, made a lather 
whilst the hare was approaching, and then, as it ran at full 
tilt, shaved its moustaches, without cutting it or injuring 
a single hair on its body. 

'I like that very much indeed/ said the father. 
4 Unless the others exert themselves to the utmost, the 
house will be yours.' 

Soon after they saw a man driving a carriage furiously 
towards them. ' Now, father, you shall see what 1 can 
do ! ' said the blacksmith, and he sprang after the carriage, 
tore off the four shoes of the horse as it was going at the 
top of its speed, and shod it with four new ones without 
checking its pace. 

' You are a clever fellow! ' said the father, ' and know 
your trade as well as your brother. I really don't know 
to which of you I shall give the house.' 

Then the third son said, ' Father, let me also show 
you something; ' and, as it was beginning to rain, he drew 
his sword and swung it in cross cuts above his head, so 
that not a drop fell on him, and the rain fell heavier and 
heavier, till at last it was coming down like a waterspout, 
but he swung his sword faster and faster, and kept as 
dry as if he were under cover. 

When the father saw this he was astonished, and 
said, 'You have produced the greatest masterpiece: the 
house is yours.' 

Both the other brothers were quite satisfied, and 
praised him too, and as they were so fond of each other 
they all three remained at home and plied their trades; 
and as they were so experienced and skilful they earned 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE THREE BROTHERS 75 

a great deal of money. So they lived happily together 
till they were quite old, and when one was taken ill and 
died the two others were so deeply grieved that they 
were also taken ill and died too. And so, because they 
had all been so clever, and so fond of each other, they 
were all laid in one grave. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



76 



THE SNOW-QUEEN 1 

There was once a dreadfully wicked hobgoblin. One 
day he was in capital spirits because he had made a 
looking-glass which reflected everything that was good 
and beautiful in such a way that it dwindled almost to 
nothing, but anything that was bad and ugly stood out 
very clearly and looked much worse. The most beautiful 
landscapes looked like boiled spinach, and the best 
people looked repulsive or seemed to stand on their heads 
with no bodies; their faces were so changed that they 
could not be recognised, and if anyone had a freckle you 
might be sure it would be spread over the nose and 
mouth. 

That was the best part of it, said the hobgoblin. 

But one day the looking-glass was dropped, and it 
broke into a million- billion and more pieces. 

And now came the greatest misfortune of all, for each 
of the pieces was hardly as large as a grain of sand, and 
they flew about all over the world, and if anyone had a 
bit in his eye there it stayed, and then he would see 
everything awry, or else could only see the bad sides of 
a case. For every tiny splinter of the glass possessed 
the same power that the whole glass had. 

Some people got a splinter in their hearts, and that 
was dreadful, for then it began to turn into a lump of ice. 

The hobgoblin laughed till his sides ached, but still 
the tiny bits of glass flew about. 

1 Translated from the German of Hans Andersen by Miss Alma 
Alleyne. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SNOW -QUEEN 



11 



And now we will hear all about it. 
In a large town, where there were so many people and 
houses that there was not room enough for everybody to 




t>is 5ide$ acped 



have gardens, lived two poor children. They were not 
brother and sister, but the} T loved each other just as much 
as*if they were. Their parents lived opposite one another 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



78 THE SXOW-QUEEX 

in two attics, and out on the leads they had put two 
boxes filled with flowers. There were sweet peas in it, 
and two rose trees, which grew beautifully, and in 
summer the two children were allowed to take their little 
chairs and sit out under the roses. Then they had 
splendid games. 

In the winter they could not do this, but then they 
put hot pennies against the frozen window-panes, and 
made round holes to look at each other through. 

His name was Kay, and hers was Gerda. 

Outside it was snowing fast. 

4 Those are the white bees swarming,' said the old 
graudmother. 

'Have they also a queen bee?' asked the little boy, 
for he knew that the real bees have one. 

4 To be sure,' said the grandmother. ' She flies 
wherever they swarm the thickest. She is larger than 
any of them, and never stays upon the earth, but flies 
again up into the black clouds. Often at midnight she 
flies through the streets, and peeps in at all the windows, 
and then they freeze in such pretty patterns and look like 
flowers.' 

' Yes, we have seen that,' said both children; they 
knew that it was true. 

4 Can the Snow-queen come in here?' asked the little 
girl. 

1 Just let her ! ' cried the boy, ' I would put her on the 
stove, and melt her! ' 

But the grandmother stroked his hair, and told some 
more stories. 

In the evening, when little Kay was going to bed, he 
jumped on the chair by the window, and looked through 
the little hole. A few snow-flakes were falling outside, 
and one of them, the largest, lay on the edge of one of the 
window-boxes. The snow-flake grew larger and larger 
till it took the form of a maiden, dressed in finest white 
gauze. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




"tKEStoMQUftar -ftPPQiRg So usstEKftr 



Digitized by Microsoft® 



80 THE SXOW-QUEEX 

She was so beautiful and dainty, but all of ice, hard 
bright ice. 

Still she was alive ; her eyes glittered like two clear 
stars, but there was no rest or peace in them. She 
nodded at the window, and beckoned with her hand. 
The little boy was frightened, and sprang down from the 
chair. Jt seemed as if a great white bird had flown past 
the window. 

The next day there was a harder frost than before. 

Then came the spring, and then the summer, when the 
roses grew and smelt more beautifully than ever. 

Kay and Gerda were looking at one of their picture- 
books — the clock in the great church-tower had just 
struck five, when Kay exclaimed, 4 Oh ! something has 
stung my heart, and I 've got something in my eye ! ' 

The little girl threw her arms round his neck ; he 
winked hard with both his eyes ; no, she could see nothing 
in them. 

6 I think it is gone now,' said he ', but it had not gone. 
It was one of the tiny splinters of the glass of the magic 
mirror which we have heard about, that turned everything 
great and good reflected in it small and ugly. And poor 
Kay had also a splinter in his heart, and it began to 
change into a lump of ice. It did not hurt him at all, 
but the splinter was there all the same. 

4 Why are you crying?' he asked ; ' it makes you look 
so ugly ! There 's nothing the matter with me. Just 
look! that rose is all slug-eaten, and this one is stunted! 
What ugly roses they are ! ' 

And he began to pull them to pieces. 

' Kay, what are you doing?' cried the little girl. 

And when he saw how frightened she w T as, he pulled 
off another rose, and ran in at his window away from dear 
little Gerda. 

When she came later on with the picture book, he 
said that it was only fit for babies, and when his grand- 
mother told them stories, he was always interrupting 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SNOW-QUEEN 81 

with, ' But — ' and then be would get behind her and put 
on her spectacles, and speak just as she did. This he did 
very well, and everybody laughed. Very soon he could 
imitate the way all the people in the street walked and 
talked. 

His games were now quite different. On a winter's 
day he would take a burning glass and hold it out on his 
blue coat and let the snow-Hakes fall on it. 

k Look in the glass, Gerda ! Just see how regular they 
are ! They are much more interesting than real flowers. 
Each is perfect; they are all made according to rule. If 
only they did not melt ! ' 

One morning Kay came out with his warm gloves on, 
and his little sledge hung over his shoulder. He shouted 
to Gerda, 'I am going to the market-place to play with 
the other boys,' and away he went. 

In the market-place the boldest boys used often to 
fasten their sledges to the carts of the farmers, and then 
they got a good ride. 

When they were in the middle of their games there 
drove into the square a large sledge, all white, and in it 
sat a figure dressed in a rough white fur pelisse with a 
white fur cap on. 

The sledge drove twice round the square, and Kay 
fastened his little sledge behind it and drove off. It went 
quicker and quicker into the next street. The driver 
turned round, and nodded to Kay in a friendly way as if 
they had known each other before. Every time that Kay 
tried to unfasten his sledge the driver nodded again, and 
Kay sat still once more. Then they drove out of the town, 
and the snow began to fall so thickly that the little boy 
could not see his hand before him, and on and on they 
went. He quickly unfastened the cord to get loose from 
the big sledge, but it was of no use ; his little sledge hung 
on fast, and it went on like the wind. 

Then he cried out, but nobody heard him. He was 
dreadfully frightened. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



82 THE SXO W-Q TJEEN 

The snowflakes grew larger and larger till they looked 
like great white birds. All at once they flew aside, the 
large sledge stood still, and the figure who was driving 
stood up. The fur cloak and cap were all of snow. It 
was a lady, tall and slim, and glittering. It was the 
Snow-queen. 

4 We have come at a good rate,' she said ; ' but you 
are almost frozen. Creep in under my cloak.' 

And she set him close to her in the sledge and drew 
the cloak over him. He felt as though he were sinking 
into a snow-drift. 

'Are you cold now?' she asked, and kissed his 
forehead. The kiss was cold as ice and reached down to 
his heart, which was already half a lump of ice. 

' My sledge ! Don't forget my sledge ! ' He thought 
of that first, and it was fastened to one of the white birds 
who flew behind with the sledge on its back. 

The Snow-queen kissed Kay again, and then he forgot 
all about little Gerda, his grandmother, and everybody at 
home. 

fc Xow I must not kiss you anymore,' she said, £ or 
else I should kiss you to death.' 

Then away they flew over forests and lakes, over sea 
and land. Round them whistled the cold wind, the 
wolves howled, and the snow hissed ; over them flew 
the black shrieking crows. But high up the moon shone 
large and bright, and thus Kay passed the long winter 
night. In the day he slept at the Snow-queen's feet. 

But what happened to little Gerda when Kay did not 
come back? 

AVhat had become of him? Nobody knew. The 
other boys told how they had seen him fasten his sledge 
on to a large one which had driven out of the town gate. 

Gerda cried a great deal. The winter was long and 
dark to her. 

Then the spring came with warm sunshine. * I will 
go and look for Kay,' said Gerda. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




4IWt1iH^gi'iilrfMLW^aaa^A^!i^i^-ffll»ISa 



Digitized by Microsoft® 



84 THE 8X0W-QU£L\Y 

So she went down to the river and got into a little 
boat that was there. Presently the stream began to 
carry it away. 

' Perhaps the river will take me to Kay,' thought 
Gerda. She glided down, past trees and fields, till she 
came to a large cherry garden, in which stood a little 
house with strange red and blue windows and a straw 
roof. Before the door stood two wooden soldiers, who 
were shouldering arms. 

Gerda called to them, but they naturally did not 
answer. The river carried the boat on to the land. 

Gerda called out still louder, and there came out of 
the house a very old woman. She leant upon a crutch, 
and she wore a large sun-hat which was painted with the 
most beautiful flowers. 

' You poor little girl ! ' said the old woman. 

And then she stepped into the water, brought the 
boat in close with her crutch, and lifted little Gerda out. 

'And now come and tell me who you are, and how 
you came here,' she said. 

Then Gerda told her everything, and asked her if she 
had seen Kay. But she said he had not passed that way 
yet, but he would soon come. 

She told Gerda not to be sad, and that she should stay 
with her and take of the cherry trees and flowers, which 
were better than any picture-book, as they could each tell 
a story. 

She then took Gerda's hand and led her into the little 
house and shut the door. 

The windows were very high, and the panes were 
red, blue, and yellow, so that the light came through in 
curious colours. On the table were the most delicious 
cherries, and the old woman let Gerda eat as many as 
she liked, while she combed her hair with a gold comb as 
she ate. 

The beautiful sunny hair rippled and shone round the 
dear little face, which was so soft and sweet. ' I have 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SNOW-QUEEN 85 

always longed to have a clear little girl just like you, and 
you shall see how happy we will be together.' 

And as she combed Gerda's hair, Gerda thought less 
and less about Kay, for the old woman was a witch, but 
not a wicked witch, for she only enchanted now and then 
to amuse herself, and she did want to keep little Gerda 
very much. 

So she went into the garden and waved her stick over 
all the l'ose bushes and blossoms and all ; they sank 
down into the black earth, and no one could see where 
they had been. 

The old woman was afraid that if Gerda saw the 
roses she would begin to think about her own, and then 
would remember Kay and run away. 

Then she led Gerda out into the garden. How 
glorious it was, and what lovely scents filled the air! All 
the flowers you can think of blossomed there all the year 
round. 

Gerda jumped for jo} T and played there till the sun 
set behind the tall cherry trees, and then she slept in a 
beautiful bed with red silk pillows filled with violets, and 
she slept soundly and dreamed as a queen does on her 
wedding day. 

The next day she played again with the flowers in the 
warm sunshine, and so many days passed by. Gerda 
knew every flower, but although there were so many, it 
seemed to her as if one were not there, though she could 
not remember which. 

She was looking one day at the old woman's sun-hat 
which had the painted flowers on it, and there she saw a 
rose. 

The witch had forgotten to make that vanish when 
she had made the other roses disappear under the earth. 
It is so difficult to think of everything. 

' Why, there are no roses here ! ' cried Gerda, and she 
hunted amongst all the flowers, but not one was to be 
found. Then she sat down and cried, but her tears fell 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



86 THE SXO W-Q UEEX 

just on the spot where a rose bush had sunk, and when 
her warm tears watered the earth, the bush came up iu 
full bloom just as it had been before. Gerda kissed the 
roses and thought of the lovely roses at home, and with 
them came the thought of little Kay. 

' Oh, what have I been doing ! ' said the little girl. ' 1 
wanted to look for Kay.' 

She ran to the end of the garden. The gate was shut, 
but she pushed against the rusty lock so that it came 
open. 

She ran out with her little bare feet. No one came 
after her. At last she could not run any longer, and she 
sat down on a large stone. When she looked round she 
saw that the summer was over; it was late autumn. It 
had not changed in the beautiful garden, where were 
sunshine and flowers all the year round. 

1 Oh, dear, how late I have made myself! ' said Gerda, 
4 It's autumn already! I cannot rest! ' And she sprang 
up to run on. 

Oh, how tired and sore her little feet grew, and it 
became colder and colder. 

She had to rest again, and there on the snow in front 
of her was a large crow. 

It had been looking at her for some time, and it 
nodded its head and said, 'Caw! caw! good day.' 
Then it asked the little girl why she was alone in the 
world. She told the crow her story, and asked if he had 
seen Kay. 

The crow nodded very thoughtfully and said, ' It might 
be! Jt might, be \ 3 

'What! Do you think you have?' cried the little 
girl, and she almost squeezed the crow to death as she 
kissed him. 

4 Gently, gently!' said the crow. 4 1 think — I know 
— I think — it might be little Kay, but now he has 
forgotten you for the princess ! ' 

4 Does he live with a princess ? ' asked Gerda. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SNOW-QUEEN 87 

£ Yes, listen,' said the crow. 

Then he told all he knew. 

' In the kingdom in which we are now sitting lives 
a princess who is dreadfully clever. She has read all the 
newspapers in the world and has forgotten them again. 
She is as clever as that. The other day she came to the 
throne, and that is not so pleasant as people think. Then 
she began to say, " Why should I not marry? " But she 
wanted a husband who could answer when he was spoken 
to, not one who would stand up stiffly and look re- 
, spectable — that would be too dull. 

' AYnen she told all the Court ladies, they were 
delighted. You can believe every word I say,' said the 
crow. ; I have a tame sweetheart in the palace, and she 
tells me everything.' 

Of course his sweetheart was a crow. 

4 The newspapers came out next morning with a 
border of hearts round it, and the princess's monogram 
on it, and inside you could read that every good-looking 
young man might come into the palace and speak to the 
princess, and whoever should speak loud enough to be 
heard would be well fed and looked after, and the one 
who spoke best should become the princess's husband. 
Indeed,' said the crow, ; you can quite believe me. It is 
as true as that I am sitting here. 

' Young men came in streams, and there was such a 
crowding and a mixing together ! But nothing came of 
it on the first nor on the second day. They could all 
speak quite well when they were in the street, but as soon 
as the\ T came inside the palace door, and saw the guards 
in silver, and upstairs the footmen in gold, and the great 
hall all lighted up, then their wits left them ! And when 
they stood in front of the throne where the princess was 
sitting, then they could not think of anything to say 
except to repeat the last word she had spoken, and she 
did not much care to hear that again. It seemed as if 
they were walking in their sleep until they came out 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



88 THE SNOW-QUEEN 

into the street again, when they could speak once more, 
There was a row stretching from the gate of the town up 
to the castle. 

' They were hungry and thirsty, but in the palace they 
did not even get a glass of water. 

' A few of the cleverest had brought some slices of 
bread and butter with them, but they did not share them 
with their neighbour, for they thought, "If he looks 
hungry, the princess will not take him!'" 

'But what about Kay?' asked Gerda. 'When did 
he come? Was he in the crowd? ' 

'Wait a bit; we are coming to him! On the third 
day a little figure came without horse or carriage and 
walked jauntily up to the palace. His eyes shone as 
yours do ; he had lovely curling hair, but quite poor 
clothes.' 

' That was Kay ! ' cried Gerda with delight. ' Oh, then 
I have found him ! ' and she clapped her hands. 

' He had a little bundle on his back,' said the crow. 

' No, it must have been his skates, for he went away 
with his skates ! ' 

' Very likely,' said the crow, ' I did not see for certain. 
But T know this from my sweetheart, that when he came 
to the palace door and saw the royal guards in silver, and 
on the stairs the footmen in gold, he was not the least 
bit put out. He nodded to them, saying, "It must be 
rather dull standing on the stairs ; I would rather go 
inside ! " 

' The halls blazed with lights ; councillors and ambass- 
adors were walking about in noiseless shoes carrying 
gold dishes. It was enough to make one nervous! His 
boots creaked dreadfully loud, but he was not frightened.' 

'That must be Kay!' said Gerda. 'I know he had 
new boots on ; I have heard them creaking in his 
grandmother's room ! ' 

' They did creak, certainly ! ' said the crow. ' And, not 
one bit afraid, up he went to the princess, who was 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SNOW-QUEEN 



89 



sitting on a large pearl as round as a spinning wheel. 
All the ladies-in-waiting were standing round, each with 
their attendants, and the lords-in-waiting with their 
attendants. The nearer they stood to the door the 
prouder they were.' 




1 It must have been dreadful ! ' said little Gerda. 
'And Kay did win the princess?' 

1 I heard from my tame sweetheart that he was 
merry and quick-witted ; he had not come to woo, he 
said, but to listen to the princess's wisdom. And the 
end of it was that they fell in love with each other. ' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



90 THE SNOW-QUEEN 

c Oh, yes; that was Kay!' said Gerda. 'He was so 
clever ; he could do sums with fractious. Oh, do lead 
me to the palace ! ' 

c That 's easily said ! ' answered the crow, ' but how 
are we to manage that? I must talk it over with my 
tame sweetheart. She may be able to advise us, for I 
must tell you that a little girl like you could never get 
permission to enter it.' 

' Yes, I will get it! ' said Gerda. c "When Kay hears 
that I am there he will come out at once and fetch me! ' 

4 Wait for me by the railings,' said the crow, and he 
nodded his head and flew away. 

It was late in the evening when he came back. 

'Caw, caw!' he said, l I am to give you her love, 
and here is a little roll for you. She took it out of the 
kitchen; there's plenty there, and you must be hungry. 
You cannot come into the palace. The guards in silver 
and the footmen in gold would not allow it. But don't 
cry ! You shall get in all right. My sweetheart knows 
a little back-stairs which leads to the sleeping-room, and 
she knows where to find the key.' 

They went into the garden, and when the lights in 
the palace were put out one after the other, the crow led 
Gerda to a back-door. 

Oh, how Gerda's heart beat with anxiety and longing! 
It seemed as if she were going to do something wrong, 
but she only wanted to know if it were little Kay. Yes, 
it must be he ! She remembered so well his clever eyes, 
his curly hair. She could see him smiling as he did 
when they were at home under the rose trees ! lie 
would be so pleased to see her, and to hear how they 
all were at home. 

Now they were on the stairs ; a little lamp was 
burning, and on the landing stood the tame crow. She 
put her head on one side and looked at Gerda, who bowed 
as her grandmother had taught her. 

i My betrothed has told me many nice things about 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SNOW-QUEEN 91 

you, my dear young lady/ she said. c Will } t ou take the 
lamp while I go in front? A\ r e go this wa}^ so as to 
meet no one.' 

Through beautiful rooms they came to the sleeping- 
room. In the middle of it, hung on a thick rod of gold, 
were two beds, shaped like lilies, one all white, in which 
lay the princess, and the other red, in which Gerda hoped 
to find Kay. She pushed aside the curtain, and saw a 
brown neck. Oh, it ivas Kay! She called his name out 
loud, holding the lamp towards him. 

Pie woke up, turned his head and — it was not Kay ! 

It was only his neck that was like Kay's, but he was 
young and handsome. The princess sat up in her lily- 
bed and asked who was there. 

Then Gerda cried, and told her story and all that the 
crows had done. 

1 You poor child ! ' said the prince and princess, and 
they praised the crows, and said that they were not 
angry with them, but that they must not do it again. 
Now they should have a reward. 

c Would } t ou like to fly away free?' said the princess, 
' or will } T ou have a permanent place as court crows with 
what you can get in the kitchen? ' 

And both crows bowed and asked for a permanent 
appointment, for they thought of their old age. 

And they put Gerda to bed, and she folded her hands, 
thinking, as she fell asleep, ; How good people and 
animals are to me ! ' 

The next day she was dressed from head to foot in 
silk and satin. They wanted her to stay on in the palace, 
but she begged for a little carriage and a horse, and a 
pair of shoes so that she might go out again into the 
world to look for Kay. 

They gave her a muff as well as some shoes ; she was 
warmly dressed, and when she was ready, there in front 
of the door stood a coach of pure gold, with a coachman, 
footmen and postilions with gold crowns on. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



92 THE SNOW-QUEEN 

The prince and princess helped her into the carriage 
and wished her good luck. 

The wild crow who w r as now married drove with her 
for the first three miles ; the other crow could not come 
because she had a bad headache. 

' Good-bye, good-bye ! ' called the prince and princess ; 
and little Gerda cried, and the crow cried. 

AVhen he said good-bye, he flew on to a tree and 
waved with his black wings as long as the carriage, which 
shone like the sun, was iu sight. 

They came at last to a dark wood, but the coach lit it 
up like a torch. "When the robbers saw it, they rushed 
out, exclaiming ' Gold ! gold ! ' 

They seized the horses, killed the coachman, footmen 
and postilions, and dragged Gerda out of the carriage. 

4 She is plump aud tender! I will eat her!' said the 
old robber-queen, and she drew her long knife, which 
glittered horribly. 

6 You shall not kill her ! ' cried her little daughter. 
' She shall play with me. She shall give me her muff 
and her beautiful dress, and she shall sleep in my 
bed.' 

The little robber-girl was as big as Gerda, but was 
stronger, broader, with dark hair and black eyes. She 
threw her arms round Gerda and said, ' They shall not 
kill you, so long as you are not naughty. Aren't you a 
princess? ' 

i No,' said Gerda, and she told all that had happened 
to her. and how dearly she loved little Kay. 

The robber-girl looked at her very seriously, and 
nodded her head, saying, * They shall not kill you, even 
if you are naughty, for then I will kill you myself ! ' 

And she dried Gerda's eyes, aud stuck both her hands 
in the beautiful warm muff. 

The little robber-girl took Gerda to a corner of the 
robbers' camp where she slept. 

All round were more than a hundred wood-pigeons 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SXOW-QUEEN 93 

which seemed to be asleep, but they moved a little when 
the two girls came up. 

There was also, near by, a reindeer which the robber- 
girl teased by tickling it with her long sharp knife. 

Gerda lay awake for some time. 

' Coo, coo ! ' said the wood-pigeons. ' We have seen 
little Kay. A white bird carried his sledge ; he was 
sitting in the Snow-queen's carriage which drove over 
the forest when our little ones were in the nest. She 
breathed on them, and all except we two died. Coo, 
coo ! ' 

4 What are you saying over there?' cried Gerda. 
' Where was the Snow-queen going to? Do you know 
at all?* 

' She was probably travelling to Lapland, where there 
is always ice and snow. Ask the reindeer.' 

'There is capital ice and snow there!' said the 
reindeer. ' One can jump about there in the great spark- 
ling valleys. There the Snow-queen has her summer 
palace, but her best palace is up by the North Pole, on 
the island called Spitzbergen.' 

' Kay, my little Kay ! ' sobbed Gerda. 

'You must lie still!' said the little robber-girl, ' or 
else I shall stick my knife into you ! ' 

In the morning Gerda told her all that the wood- 
pigeons had said. She nodded. ' Do you know where 
Lapland is? ' she asked the reindeer. 

' AVho should know better than I ? ' said the beast, and 
his eyes sparkled. ' I was born and bred there on the 
snow-fields.' 

' Listen ! ' said the robber-girl to Gerda ; ' you see that 
all the robbers have gone ; only my mother is left, and 
she will fall asleep in the afternoon — then I will do some- 
thing for you ! ' 

When her mother had fallen asleep, the robber-girl 
went up to the reindeer and said, ' I am going to set you 
free so that you can run to Lapland. But you must go 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



94 THE SNOW-QUEEN 

quickly and carry this little girl to the Snow-queen's 
palace, where her playfellow is. You must have heard 
all that she told about it, for she spoke loud enough ! ' 
r The reindeer sprang high for joy. The robber-girl 
lifted little Gerda up, and had the foresight to tie her on 
firmly, and even gave her a little pillow for a saddle. 
' You must have your fur boots/ she said, ' for it will be 
cold ; but I shall keep your muff, for it is so cosy ! But, so 
that you may not freeze, here are my mother's great fur 
gloves ; they will come up to your elbows. Creep into 
them ! ' 

And Gerda cried for joy. 

4 Don't make such faces!' said the little robber-girl. 
' You must look very happy. And here are two loaves 
and a sausage ; now you won't be hungry ! ' 

They were tied to the reindeer, the little robber-girl 
opened the door, made all the big dogs come away, cut 
through the halter with her sharp knife, and said to the 
reindeer, ' Run now ! But take great care of the little 
girl.' 

And Gerda stretched out her hands with the large fur 
gloves towards the little robber-girl and said, 4 Good-bye ! ' 

Then the reindeer flew over the ground, through the 
great forest, as fast as he could. 

The wolves howled, the ravens screamed, the sky 
seemed on lire. 

4 Those are my dear old Northern lights/ said the 
reindeer ; fc see how they shine ! ' 

And then he ran faster still, day and night. 

The loaves were eaten, and the sausage also, aud then 
they came to Lapland. 

They stopped by a wretched little house; the roof 
almost touched the ground, and the door was so low that 
you had to creep in and out. 

There was no one in the house except an old Lapland 
woman who was cooking fish over an oil-lamp. The 
reindeer told Gerda's whole history, but first he told his 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



96 THE SNOW-QUEEN 

own, for that seemed to him much more important, and 
Gerda was so cold that she could not speak. 

' Ah, you poor creatures ! ' said the Lapland woman ; 
; you have still further to go ! You must go over a 
hundred miles into Finland, for there the Snow-queen 
lh r es, and every night she burns Bengal lights. I will 
write some words on a dried stock-fish, for I have no 
paper, and you must give it to the Finland woman, for she 
can give you better advice than I can.' 

And when Gerda was warmed and had had something 
to eat and drink, the Lapland woman wrote on a dried 
stock-fish, and begged Gerda to take care of it, tied Gerda 
securely on the reindeer's back, and away they went 
again. 

The whole night was ablaze with Northern lights, and 
then they came to Finland and knocked at the Finland 
woman's chimne} T , for door she had none. 

Inside it was so hot that the Finland woman wore 
very few clothes ; she loosened Gerda's clothes and drew 
off her fur gloves and boots. She laid a piece of ice on 
the reindeer's head, and then read what was written on 
the stock-fish. She read it over three times till she knew 
it by heart, and then put the fish in the saucepan, for she 
never wasted anything. 

Then the reindeer told his story, and afterwards little 
Gerda's, and the Finland woman blinked her eyes but 
said nothing. 

'You are very clever,' said the reindeer, 'I know. 
Cannot you give the little girl a drink so that she may 
have the strength of twelve men and overcome the Snow- 
queen ? ' 

' The strength of twelve men ! ' said the Finland 
woman ; ' that would not help much. Little Kay is with 
the Snow-queen, and he likes everything there very much 
and thinks it the best place in the world. But that is 
because he has a splinter of glass in his heart and a bit 
in his eye. If these do not come out, he will never be 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SXOW-QUEEX 97 

free, and the Snow-queen will keep her power over 
him.' 

4 But cannot you give little Gerda something so that 
she can have power over her?' 

' I can give her no greater power than she has 
already; don't you see how great it is? Don't you see 
how men and beasts must help her when she wanders 
into the wide world with her bare feet? She is powerful 
already, because she is a dear little innocent child. If 
she cannot by herself conquer the Snow-queen and take 
away the glass splinters from little Kay, we cannot help 
her! The Snow-queen's garden begins two miles from 
here. You can carry the little maiden so far; put her 
down by the large bush with red berries growing in the 
snow. Then you must come back here as fast as you 
can.' 

Then the Finland woman lifted little Gerda on the 
reindeer and away he sped. 

'Oh, I have left my gloves and boots behind!' cried 
Gerda. She missed them in the piercing cold, but the 
reindeer did not dare to stop. On he ran till he came to 
the bush with red berries. Then he sat Gerda down and 
kissed her mouth, and great big tears ran down his 
cheeks, and then he ran back. There stood poor Gerda 
without shoes or gloves in the middle of the bitter cold 
of Finland. 

She ran on as fast as she could. A regiment of 
gigantic snowflakes came against her, but they melted 
when they touched her, and she went on with fresh 
courage. 

And now we must see what Kay was doing. He was 
not thinking of Gerda, and never dreamt that she was 
standing outside the palace. 

The walls of the palace were built of driven snow, and 
the doors and windows of piercing winds. 

There were more than a hundred halls in it all of 
frozen snow. The largest was several miles long; the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



98 THE SXOW-QUEEX 

bright Northern lights lit them up, and very large and 
empty and cold and glittering they were ! In the middle 
of the great hall was a frozen lake which had cracked in 
a thousand pieces ; each piece was exactly like the other. 
Here the Snow-queen used to sit when she was at home. 

Little Kay was almost blue and black with cold, but 
he did not feel it, for she had kissed away his feelings and 
his heart was a lump of ice. 

He was pulling about some sharp, flat pieces of ice, 
and trying to fit one into the other. He thought each 
was most beautiful, but that was because of the splinter 
of glass in his eye. He fitted them into a great many 
shapes, but he wanted to make them spell the word 
4 Love.' The Snow-queen had said, ' If yon can spell out 
that woi'd you shall be your own master. I will give you 
the whole world and a new pair of skates.' 
But he could not do it. 

4 Now I must fly to warmer countries,' said the Snow- 
queen. l I must go and powder my black kettles ] 
(This was what she called Mount Etna and Mount 
Vesuvius.) c It does the lemons and grapes good.' 

And off she flew, and Kay sat alone in the great hall 
trying to do his puzzle. 

He sat so still that you would have thought he was 
frozen. 

Then it happened that little Gerda stepped into the 
hall. The biting cold winds became quiet as if they had 
fallen asleep when she appeared in the great, empty, 
freezing hall. 

She caught sight of Kay; she recognised him, ran 
and put her arms round his neck, crying, 'Kay! dear 
little Kay ! I have found you at last ! ' 

But he sat quite still and cold. Then Gerda wept 
hot tears which fell on his neck and thawed his heart and 
swept away the bit of the looking-glass. He looked at 
her and then he burst into tears. He cried so much that 
the glass splinter swam out of his eye; then he knew 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SXOW-QUEEN 



99 



her, and cried out, ' Gerda ! dear little Gerda ! Where 
have you been so long? and where have I been?' 

And he looked round him. 

4 How cold it is here ! How wide and empty ! ' and 
he threw himself on Gerda, and she laughed and wept 




for joy. It was such a happy time that the pieces of ice 
even danced round them for joy, and when they were 
tired and lay down again they formed themselves into 
the letters that the Snow-queen had said he must spell 
in order to become his own master and have the whole 
world and a new pair of skates. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



100 THE SNOW-QUEEN 

And Gerda kissed his cheeks and they grew rosy; she 
kissed his eyes and they sparkled like hers; she kissed 
his hands and feet and he became warm and glowing. 
The Snow-qneen might come home now; his release — 
the word ' Love' — stood written in sparkling ice. 

They took each other's hands and wandered out of 
the great palace ; they talked about the grandmother and 
the roses on the leads, and wherever they came the winds 
hushed and the sun came out When they reached the 
bush with red berries there stood the reindeer waiting 
for them. 

lie carried Kay and Gerda first to the Finland 
woman, who warmed them in her hot room and gave 
them advice for their journey home. 

Then they went to the Lapland woman, who gave 
them new clothes and mended their sleigh. The reindeer 
ran with them till they came to the green fields fresh 
with the spring green. Here he said good-bye. 

They came to the forest, which was bursting into bud, 
and out of it came a splendid horse which Gerda knew ; 
it was one which had drawn the gold coach ridden by a 
young girl with a red cap on and pistols in her belt. 
It was the little robber-girl who was tired of being at 
home and wanted to go out into the world. She and 
Gerda knew each other at once. 

' You are a nice fellow! ' she said to Kay. < I should 
like to know if you deserve to be run after all over the 
world ! ' 

But Gerda patted her cheeks and asked after the 
prince and princess. 

4 They are travelling about,' said the robber-girl. 

k And the crow? ' asked Gerda, 

' Oh, the crow is dead ! ' answered the robber-girl. 
' His tame sweetheart is a widow and hops about with a 
bit of black crape round her leg. She makes a great 
fuss, but it 's all nonsense. But tell me what happened 
to you, and how you caught him.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SXOW-QUEEX 101 

And Kay and Gerda told her all. 

' Dear, dear!' said the robber-girl, shook both their 
hands, and promised that if she came to their town she 
would come and see them. Then she rode on. 

But Gerda and Kay went home hand in hand. There 
they found the grandmother and everything just as it had 
been, but when they went through the doorway they 
found they were grown-up. 

There were the roses on the leads ; it was summer, 
warm, glorious summer. 



Digitized by Microsoft © 



102 



THE FIR-TREE 1 

There was once a pretty little fir-tree in a wood. It was 
in a capital position, for it could get sun, and there was 
enough air, and all around grew many tall companions, 
both pines and firs. The little fir-tree's greatest desire 
was to grow up. It did not heed the warm sun and the 
fresh air, or notice the little peasant children who ran 
about chattering when they came out to gather wild 
strawberries and raspberries. Often they found a whole 
basketful and strung strawberries on a straw ; they 
would sit down by the little fir-tree and say, ' What a 
pretty little one this is ! ' The tree did not like that at all. 

By the next year it had grown a whole ring taller, 
and the year after that another ring more, for you can 
always tell a fir-tree's age from its rings'. 

' Oh ! if I were only a great tree like the others ! ' 
sighed the little fir-tree, ' then I could stretch out my 
branches far and wide and look out into the great world! 
The birds would build their nests in my branches, and 
when the wind blew I would bow to it politely just like 
the others ! ' It took no pleasure in the sunshine, nor in 
the birds, nor in the rose-coloured clouds that sailed over 
it at dawn and at sunset. Then the winter came, and 
the snow lay white and sparkling all around, and a hare 
would come and spring right over the little fir-tree, 
which annoyed it very much. But when two more 
winters had passed the fir-tree was so tall that the hare 

l Translated from the German of Hans Christian Andersen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE FIR-TREE 103 

had to run round it. 'All! to grow and grow, and 
become great and old ! that is the only pleasure in life,' 
thought the tree. In the autumn the woodcutters used 
to come and hew some of the tallest trees ; this happened 
every year, and the young fir-tree would shiver as the 
magnificent trees fell crashing and cracking to the 
ground, their branches hewn off, and the great trunks 
left bare, so that they were almost unrecognisable. But 
then they were laid on waggons and dragged out of the 
wood by horses. * Where are they going? What will 
happen to them ? ' 

In spring, when the swallows and storks came, the 
fir-tree asked them, ' Do you know where they were 
taken ? Have you met them? ' 

The swallows kuew nothing of them, but the stork 
nodded his head thoughtfully, saying, ' I think I know. 
I met many new ships as I flew from Egypt; there 
were splendid masts on the ships. I '11 wager those were 
they ! They had the scent of fir-trees. Ah ! those are 
grand, grand ! * 

' Oh ! if I were only big enough to sail away over the 
sea too! What sort of thing is the sea? what does it 
look like? ' 

' Oh ! it would take much too long to tell you all 
that,' said the stork, and off he went. 

'Rejoice in your youth,' said the sunbeams, 'rejoice 
in the sweet growing time, in the young life within you.' 

And the wind kissed it and the dew wept tears over it, 
but the fir-tree did not understand. 

Towards Christmas- time quite little trees were cut 
down, some not as big as the young fir-tree, or just the 
same age, and now it had no peace or rest for longing to 
be away. These little trees, which were chosen for their 
beauty, kept all their branches : they were put in carts 
and drawn out of the wood by horses. 

'Whither are those going?' asked the fir-tree; 'they 
are no bigger than I, and one there was much smaller 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



104 THE FIR-TREE 

even! Why do they keep their branches? Where are 
they tn ken to ? ' 

•We know! we know!' twittered the sparrows. 
1 Down there in the city we have peeped in at the 
windows, we know where they go ! They attain to the 
greatest splendour and magnificence yon can imagine! 
We have looked in at the windows and seen them 
planted in the middle of the warm room and adorned 
with the most beautiful things — golden apples, sweet- 
meats, toys and hundreds of candles.' 

'And then?' asked the fir-tree, trembling in every 
limb with eagerness, 'and then? what happens then?' 

• Oh, we have n't seen anything more than that. That 
was simply matchless V 

'Am I too destined to the same brilliant career?' 
wondered the fir-tree excitedly. ' That is even better 
than sailing over the sea ! I am sick with longing. If 
it were only Christmas ! Now I am tall and grown-up 
like those which were taken away last year. Ah, if I 
were only in the cart ! If I were only in the warm room 
with all the splendour and magnificence! And then? 
Then comes something better, something still more 
beautiful, else why should they dress us up? There 
must be something greater, something grander to come — 
but what? Oh! I am pining away! I really don't 
knew what 's the matter with me ! ' 

c Rejoice in us,' said the air and sunshine, ' rejoice in 
your fresh youth in the free air! ' 

But it took no notice, and just grew and grew; there 
it stood fresh and green in winter and in summer, and 
all who saw it said, 'What a beautiful tree!' And at 
Christmas-time it was the first to be cut down. The axe 
went deep into the pith; the tree fell to the ground with 
a groan; it felt bruised and faint. It could not think of 
happiness, it was sad at leaving its home, the spot where 
it had sprung up ; it knew, too, that it would never see 
again its dear old companions, or the little shrubs and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE FIR-TREE 105 

flowers, perhaps not even the birds. Altogether the 
parting was not pleasant. 

When the tree came to itself again it was packed in a 
yard with other trees, and a man was saying, 4 This is a 
splendid one, we shall only want this.' 

Then came two footmen in livery and carried the fir- 
tree into a large and beautiful room. There were pic- 
tures hanging upon the walls, and near the Dutch stove 
stood great Chinese vases with lions on their lids ; there 
were armchairs, silk-covered sofas, big tables laden with 
picture-books and toys, worth hundreds of pounds — at 
least, so the children said. The fir-tree was placed in a 
great tub rilled with sand, but no one could see that it 
was a tub, for it was all hung with greenery and stood 
on a gay carpet. How the tree trembled ! What was 
coming now? The young ladies and the servants decked 
it out. On its branches they hung little nets cut out 
of coloured paper, each full of sugarplums; gilt apples 
and nuts hung down as if they were growing, and over a 
hundred red, blue, and white tapers were fastened among 
the branches. Dolls as life-like as human beings — the 
fir-tree had never seen any before — were suspended 
among the green, and right up at the top was fixed a gold 
tinsel star; it was gorgeous, quite unusually gorgeous! 

k To-night,' they all said, t to-night it will be lighted! ' 

4 Ah ! ' thought the tree, ' if it were only evening ! 
Then the tapers would soon be lighted. What will 
happen then? I wonder whether the trees will come 
from the wood to see me, or if the sparrows will fly 
against the window 7 panes? Am ] to stand here decked 
out thus through winter and summer?' 

It was not a bad guess, but the fir-tree had real bark- 
ache from sheer longing, and bark-ache in trees is just as 
bad as head-ache in human beings. 

Now the tapers were lighted. What a glitter! What 
splendour ! The tree quivered in all its branches so 
much, that one of the candles caught the green, and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



106 THE FIR-TREE 

singed it. ' Take care 1 ' cried the young ladies, and they 
extinguished it. 

Now the tree did not even dare to quiver. It was 
really terrible ! It was so afraid of losing any of its 
ornaments, and it was quite bewildered by all the radiance. 

And then the folding doors were opened, and a crowd 
of children rushed in, as though they wanted to knock 
down the whole tree, whilst the older people followed 
soberly. The children stood quite silent, but only for a 
moment, and then they shouted again, and danced round 
the tree, and snatched off one present after another. 

4 What are they doing?' thought the tree. ' What is 
going to happen?' And the tapers burnt low on the 
branches, and were put out one by one, and then the 
children were given permission to plunder the tree. They 
rushed at it so that all its boughs creaked ; if it had not 
been fastened by the gold star at the top to the ceiling, it 
would have been overthrown. 

The children danced about with their splendid toys, 
and no one looked at the tree, except the old nurse, who 
came and peeped amongst the boughs, just to see if a fig 
or an apple had been forgotten. 

' A story ! a story ! ' cried the children, and dragged a 
little stout man to the tree ; he sat down beneath it, saying, 
c Here we are in the greenwood, and the tree will be 
delighted to listen ! But I am only going to tell one 
story. Shall it be Henny Penny or Humpty Dumpty 
who fell downstairs, and yet gained great honour and 
married a princess ? ' 

' Henny Penny ! ' cried some : ' Humpty Dumpty ! ' 
cried others ; there was a perfect babel of voices ! Only 
the fir-tree kept silent, and thought, ' Am I not to be in 
it? Am I to have nothing to do with it? ' 

But it had already been in it, and played out its part. 
And the man told them about Humpty Dumpty who fell 
downstairs and married a princess. The children clapped 
their hands and cried, 6 Another ! another ! ' They wanted 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE FIR-TREE 107 

the story of Henny Penny also, but they only got Humpty 
Dumpty. The fir-tree stood quite astonished and thought- 
ful : the birds in the wood had never related anything like 
that. ' Humpty Dumpty fell downstairs and yet married 
a princess ! yes, that is the way of the world ! ' thought 
the tree, and was sure it must be true, because such a 
nice man had told the story. 4 Well, who knows? Per- 
haps I shall fall downstairs and marry a princess.' And 
it rejoiced to think that next day it would be decked out 
again with candles, toys, glittering ornaments, aud fruits. 
4 To-morrow I shall quiver again with excitement. 1 
shall enjoy to the full all my splendour. To-morrow I 
shall hear Humpty Dumpty again, and perhaps Henny 
Penny too.' And the tree stood silent and lost in thought 
all through the night. 

Next morning the servants came in. ' Now the dress- 
ing up will begin again/ thought the tree. But they 
dragged it out of the room, and up the stairs to the 
lumber-room, and put it in a dark corner, where no ray 
of light could penetrate. ' AVhat does this mean ? ' thought 
the tree. 'What am I to do here? What is there for 
me to hear? ' And it leant against the wall, and thought 
and thought. And there was time enough for that, for 
days and nights went by, and no one came ; at last when 
some one did come, it was only to put some great boxes 
into the corner. Now the tree was quite covered; it 
seemed as if it had been quite forgotten. 

4 Now it is winter out-doors,' thought the fir-tree. 
4 The ground is hard and covered with snow, they can't 
plant me yet, and that is why I am staying here under 
cover till the spring comes. How thoughtful they are! 
Only I wish it were not so terribly dark and lonely here ; 
not even a little hare! It was so nice out in the wood, 
when the snow lay all around, and the hare leapt past 
me ; yes, even when he leapt over me : but I did n't like 
it then. It 's so dreadfully lonely up here.' 

4 Squeak, squeak ! ' said a little mouse, stealing out, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



108 TEE FIR-TREE 

followed by a second. They sniffed at the fir-tree, and 
then crept between its boughs. 'It's frightfully cold,' 
said the little mice. 4 How nice it is to be here ! Don't 
you think so too, you old fir-tree?' 

'I'm not at all old,' said the tree; ' there are many 
much older than I am.' 

'Where do you come from?' asked the mice, 'and 
what do you know? ' They were extremely inquisitive. 
' Do tell us about the most beautiful place in the world. 
Is that where you come from? Have you been in the 
storeroom, where cheeses lie on the shelves, and hams 
hang from the ceiling, where one dances on tallow 
caudles, and where one goes in thin and comes out fat?' 

'I know nothing about that,' said the tree. 'But I 
know the wood, where the sun shines, and the birds sing.' 
And then it told them all about its young days, and the 
little mice had never heard anything like that before, and 
they listened with all their ears, and said : ' Oh, how 
much you have seen ! How lucky you have been ! ' 

'I?' said the fir-tree, and then it thought over what 
it had told them. ' Yes, on the whole those were very 
happy times.' But then it went on to tell them about 
Christmas Eve, when it had been adorned with sweet- 
meats and tapers. 

' Oh! ' said the little mice, ' how lucky you have been, 
you old fir-tree ! ' 

' I'm not at all old,' said the tree. ' I only came from 
the wood this winter. I am only a little backward, per- 
haps, in my growth.' 

'How beautifully you tell stories!' said the little 
mice. And next evening they came with four others, 
who wanted to hear the tree's story, and it told still more, 
for it remembered everything so clearly and thought : 
' Those were happy times ! But they may come again. 
Humpty Dumpty fell downstairs, and yet he married a 
princess; perhaps I shall also marry a princess!' And 
then it thought of a pretty little birch-tree that grew out 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE FIR-TREE 109 

in the wood, and seemed to the fir-tree a real princess, 
and a very beautiful one too. 

' Who is Hnmpty Dumpty?' asked the little mice. 

And then the tree told the whole story; it could 
remember every single word, and the little mice were 
ready to leap on to the topmost branch out of sheer joy ! 
Next night many more mice came, and on Sunday even 
two rats; but they did not care about the story, and that 
troubled the little mice, for now they thought less of 
it too. 

w Is that the only story you know ? ' asked the 
rats. 

' The only one,' answered the tree. l I heard that on 
my happiest evening, but I did not realise then how happy 
I was.' 

w That 's a very poor story. Don't you know one about 
bacon or tallow candles ? a storeroom story ? ' 

' No,' said the tree. 

4 Then we are much obliged to you,' said the rats, and 
they went back to their friends. 

At last the little mice went off also, and the tree said, 
sighing: ' Really it was very pleasant when the lively 
little mice sat round and listened whilst I told them 
stories. But now that's over too. But now L will think 
of the time when I shall be brought out again, to keep up 
my spirits.' 

But when did that happen? Well, it was one morning 
when they came to tidy up the lumber-room ; the boxes 
were set aside, and the tree brought out ; they threw it 
really rather roughly on the floor, but a servant dragged 
it off at once downstairs, where there was daylight once 
more. 

c Now life begins again ! ' thought the tree. It felt the 
fresh air, the first rays of the sun, and there it was out in 
the yard ! Everything passed so quickly ; the tree quite 
forgot to notice itself, there was so much to look at all 
around. The yard opened on a garden full of flowers ; 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



110 THE FIR-TREE 

the roses were so fresh and sweet, hanging over a little 
trellis, the lime-trees were in blossom, and the swallows 
flew about, saying : 4 Quirre-virre-vit, my husband has 
come home ; ' but it was not the fir-tree they meant. 

4 Now I shall live,' thought the tree joyfully, stretching- 
out its branches wide ; but, alas ! they were all withered 
and yellow ; and it was lying in a corner among weeds 
and nettles. The golden star was still on its highest 
bough, and it glittered in the bright sunlight. In the 
yard some of the merry children were playing, who had 
danced so gaily round the tree at Christmas. One of the 
little ones ran up, and tore off the gold star. 

k Look what was left on the ugly old fir-tree ! ' he 
cried, and stamped on the boughs so that they cracked 
under his feet. 

And the tree looked at all the splendour and freshness 
of the flowers in the garden, and then looked at itself, and 
wished that it had been left lying in the dark corner of 
the lumber-room; it thought of its fresh youth in the 
wood, of the merry Christmas Eve, and of the little mice 
who had listened so happily to the story of Humpty 
Dumpty. 

4 Too late ! Too late 1 ' thought the old tree. ' If only 
I had enjoyed myself whilst I could. Now all is over 
and gone.' 

And a servant came and cut the tree into small pieces, 
there was quite a bundle of them ; they flickered brightly 
under the great copper in the brew-house ; the tree sighed 
deeply, and each sigh was like a pistol-shot; so the 
children wiio were playing there ran up, and sat in front 
of the fire, gazing at it, and crying, ; PirT ! puff ! bang ! ' 
But for each report, which was really a sigh, the tree was 
thinking of a summer's day in the wood, or of a winter's 
night out there, when the stars were shining ; it thought 
of Christmas Eve, and of Humpty Dumpty, which was 
the only story it had heard, or could tell, and then the 
tree had burnt away. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE FIR-TREE 111 

The children played on in the garden, and the youngest 
had the golden star on his breast, which the tree had worn 
on the happiest evening of its life ; and now that was past 
— and the tree had passed away — and the story too, all 
ended and done with. 

And that 's the way with all stories ! 

Here our Danish Author ends. This is what people 
call Sentiment, and I hope you enjoy it! 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



112 



HANS, THE MERMAID'S SON 1 

In a village there once lived a smith called Basmus, who 
was in a very poor way. He was still a young man, and 
a strong handsome fellow to boot, but he had many little 
children and there was little to be earned by his trade. 
He was, however, a diligent and hard-working man, and 
when he had no work in the smithy he was out at sea 
fishing, or gathering wreckage on the shore. 

It happened one time that he had gone out to fish in 
good weather, all alone in a little boat, but he did not 
come home that day nor the following one, so that all 
believed that lie had perished out at sea. On the third 
day, however, Basmus came to shore again and had his 
boat full of fish, so big and fat that no one had ever seen 
their like. There was nothing the matter with him, and 
he complained neither of hunger nor thirst. He had got 
into a fog, he said, and could not find land again. What 
he did not tell, however, was where he had been all the 
time; that only came out six years later, when people 
got to know that he had been caught by a mermaid out 
on the deep sea, and had been her guest during the three 
days that he was missing. From that time forth he went 
out no more to fish ; nor, indeed, did he require to do so, 
for whenever he went down to the shore it never failed 
that some wreckage was washed up, and in it all kinds of 
valuable things. In those days everyone took what they 
found and got leave to keep it, so that the smith grew 
more prosperous day by day. 

1 Translated from the Danish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



114 I1AJTS, THE MERMAID'S SON 

When seven years had passed since the smith went 
out to sea, it happened one morning, as he stood in the 
smithy, mending a plough, that a handsome young lad 
came in to him and said, ' Good-day, father; my mother 
the mermaid sends her greetings, and says that she has 
had me for six years now, and you can keep me for as 
long.' 

He was a strange enough boy to be six years old, for 
he looked as if he were eighteen, and was even bigger and 
stronger than lads commonly are at that age. 

t Will you have a bite of bread? ' said the smith. 

4 Oh, yes,' said Hans, for that was his name. 

The smith then told his wife to cut a piece of bread 
for him. She did so, and the boy swallowed it at one 
mouthful and went out again to the smithy to his father. 

' Have you got all 3 t ou can eat? ' said the smith. 

' No,' said Hans, ' that was just a little bit.' 

The smith went into the house and took a whole loaf, 
which he cut into two slices and put butter and cheese 
between them, and this he gave to Hans. In a while the 
boy came out to the smithy again. 

w Well, have you got as much as you can eat?' said 
the smith. 

'No, not nearly,' said Hans; 'I must try to find a 
better place than this, for I can see that I shall never 
get my fill here.' 

Hans wished to set off at once, as soon as his father 
would make a staff for him of such a kind as he wanted. 

' Tt must be of iron,' said he, 'and one that can hold 
out.' 

The smith brought him an iron rod as thick as an 
ordinary staff, but Hans took it and twisted it round his 
finger, so that would n't do. Then the smith came drag- 
ging one as thick as a waggon-pole, but Hans bent it over 
his knee and broke it like a straw. The smith then had 
to collect all the iron he had, and Hans held it while his 
father forged for bun a staff, which was heavier than the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



HANS, THE MERMAID'S SON 115 

anvil. When Hans had got this he said, ' Many thanks, 
father; now I have got my inheritance.' With this he 
set off into the country, and the smith was very well 
pleased to be- rid of that son, before he ate him out of 
house and home. 

Hans first arrived at a large estate, and it so happened 
that the squire himself was standing outside the farm- 
yard. 

w Where are you going? ' said the squire. 

4 I am looking for a place,' said Hans, 4 where they 
have need of strong fellows, and can give them plenty to 
eat.' 

4 Well,' said the squire, 4 1 generally have twenty-four 
men at this time of the year, but I have only twelve just 
now, so I can easily take you on.' 

4 Very well,' said Hans, 4 I shall easily do twelve 
men's work, but then I must also have as much to eat as 
the twelve would.' 

All this was agreed to, and the squire took Hans into 
the kitchen, and told the servant girls that the new man 
was to have as much food as the other twelve. It was 
arranged that he should have a pot to himself, and he 
could then use the ladle to take his food with. 

It was in the evening that Hans arrived there, so he 
did nothing more that day than eat his supper — a big pot 
of buck-wheat porridge, w T hicli he cleaned to the bottom, 
and was then so far satisfied that he said he could sleep 
on that, so he went off to bed. He slept both well and 
long, and all the rest were up and at their work while he 
was still sleeping soundly. The squire was also on foot, 
for he was curious to see how the new man would behave 
who was both to eat and work for twelve. 

But as yet there was no Hans to be seen, and the sun 
was already high in the heavens, so the squire himself 
went and called on him. 

4 Get up, Hans,' he cried ; ' you are sleeping too 
long.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



116 HANS, THE MERMAID'S SOX 

Hans woke up and rubbed his e3 T es. 'Yes, that's 
true,' he said, 'I must get up and have my breakfast.' 

So he rose and dressed himself, and went into the 
kitchen, where he got his pot of porridge; he swallowed 
all of this, and then asked what work he was to 
have. 

He was to thresh that day, said the squire ; the other 
twelve men were already busy at it. There were twelve 
threshing-floors, and the twelve men were at work on six 
of them — two on each. Hans must thresh b} T himself 
all that was l} T ing upon the other six floors. He went 
out to the barn and got hold of a flail. Then he looked 
to see how the others did it and did the same, but at the 
first stroke he smashed the flail in pieces. There were 
several flails hanging there, and Hans took the one after 
the other, but they all went the same way, every one fly- 
ing in splinters at the first stroke. He then looked round 
for something else to work with, and found a pair of 
strong beams lying near. Next he caught sight of a 
horse-hide nailed up on the barn-door. With the beams 
he made a flail, using the skin to tie them together. The 
one beam he used as a handle, and the other to strike 
with, and now that was all right. But the barn was too 
low, there was no room to swing the flail, and the floors 
were too small. Hans, however, found a remedy for this 
— he simply lifted the whole roof off the barn, and set it 
down in the field beside. He then emptied down all the 
corn that he could lay his hands on and threshed away. 
He went through one lot after another, and it was all the 
same to him what he got hold of, so before midday he had 
threshed all the squire's grain, his rye and wheat and 
barley and oats, all mixed through each other. "When he 
was finished with this he lifted the roof up on the barn 
again, like setting a lid on a box, and went in and told the 
squire that that job was done. 

The squire opened his eyes at this announcement; 
and came out to see if it was really true. It was true, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



HANS, THE MERMAID'S SOX 117 

sure enough, but he was scarcely delighted with the 
mixed grain that he had got from all his crops. How- 
ever, when he saw the flail that Hans had used, and 
learned how he had made room for himself to swing it, 
he was so afraid of the strong fellow, that he dared 
not say anything, except that it was a good thing he had 
got it threshed ; but it had still to be cleaned. 

* What does that mean?' asked Hans. 

It was explained to him that the corn and the chaff 
had to be separated ; as yet both were lying in one heap, 
right up to the roof. Hans began to take up a little and 
sift it in his hands, but he soon saw that this would 
never do. He soon thought of a plan, however; he 
opened both barn-doors, and then lay down at one end 
and blew, so that all the chaff flew out and lay like a 
sand-bank at the other end of the barn, and the grain was 
as clean as it could be. Then he reported to the squire 
that that job also was done. The squire said that that 
was well; there was nothing more for him to do that day. 
Off went Hans to the kitchen, and got as much as he 
could eat ; then he went and took a midday nap which 
lasted till supper-time. 

Meanwhile the squire was quite miserable, and made 
his moan to his wife, saying that she must help him to 
find some means of getting rid of this strong fellow, for 
he durst not give him his leave. She sent for the steward, 
and it was arranged that next day all the men should go 
to the forest for fire-wood, and that they should make a 
bargain among them, that the one who came home last 
with his load should be hanged. They thought they 
could easily manage that it would be Hans who would 
lose his life, for the others would be early on the road, 
while Hans would certainly oversleep himself. In the 
evening, therefore, the men sat and talked together, saying 
that next morning they must set out early to the forest, 
and as they had a hard day's work and a long journey 
before them, they would, for their amusement, make a 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



118 HANS, THE MERMAID'S SON 

compact, that whichever of them came home last with 
his load should lose his life on the gallows. So Hans 
had no objections to make. 

Long before the sun was up next morning, all the 
twelve men were on foot. They took all the best horses 
and carts, and drove off to the forest. Hans, however, 
lay and slept on, and the squire said, w Just let him lie.' 

At last, Hans thought it was time to have his break- 
fast, so he got up and put on his clothes. He took plenty 
of time to his breakfast, and then went out to get his 
horse and cart ready. The others had taken everything 
that was any good, so that he had a difficulty in scraping 
together four wheels of different sizes and fixing them to 
an old cart, and he could find no other horses than a pair 
of old hacks. These he harnessed to his cart and drove 
off to the forest. He did not know where it lay, but he 
followed the track of the other carts, and in that way 
came to it all right. On coming to the gate leading into 
the forest, he was unfortunate enough to break it in 
pieces, so he took a huge stone that was lying on the field, 
seven ells long, and seven ells broad, and set this in the 
gap, then he went on and joined the others. These 
laughed at him heartily, for they had laboured as hard as 
they could since daybreak, and had helped each other to 
fell trees and put them on the carts, so that all of these 
were now loaded except one. 

Hans got hold of a woodman's axe and proceeded to 
fell a tree, but he destroyed the edge and broke the shaft 
at the first blow. He therefore laid down the axe, put 
his arms round the tree, aud pulled it up by the roots. 
This he threw upon his cart, and then another and 
another, and thus he went on while all the others forgot 
their work, and stood with open mouths, gazing at this 
strange woodcraft. All at once they began to hurry; 
the last cart was loaded, and they whipped up their 
horses, so as to be the first to arrive home. 

When Hans had finished his work, he again put his 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



HANS, THE MERMAID'S SON 119 

old hacks into the cart, but they could not move it from 
the spot. He was annoyed at this, and took them out 
again, twisted a rope round the cart, and all the trees, 
lifted the whole affair on his back, and set off home, lead- 
ing the horses behind him by the rein. When he reached 
the gate, he found the whole row of carts standing there, 
unable to get any further for the stone which lay in the 
gap. 

fc What ! ' said Hans, i can twelve men not move that 
stone?' With that he lifted it and threw it out of the 
way, and went on with his burden on his back, and the 
horses behind him, and arrived at the farm long before 
any of the others. The squire was walking about there, 
looking and looking, for he was very curious to know 
what had happened. Finally, he caught sight of Hans 
coming along in this fashion, and was so frightened that 
he did not know what to do, but he shut the gate and 
put on the bar. When Hans reached the gate of the 
courtyard, he laid down the trees and hammered at it, 
but no one came to open it. He then took the trees and 
tossed them over the barn into the yard, and the cart after 
them, so that every wheel flew off in a different direction. 

When the squire saw this, he thought to himself, 
' The horses will come the same way if I don't open the 
door,' so he did this. 

4 Good day, master/ said Hans, and put the horses 
into the stable, and went into the kitchen, to get some- 
thing to eat. At length the other men came home 
with their loads. When they came in, Hans said to them, 
' Do you remember the bargain we made last night? 
Which of you is it that's going to be hanged? ' ' Oh,' 
said they, i that was only a joke ; it did n't mean anything.' 
' Oh well, it doesn't matter,' said Hans, and there was no 
more about it. 

The squire, however, and his wife and the steward, 
had much to say to each other about the terrible man 
they had got, and all were agreed that they must get rid 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



120 HANS, THE MERMAID'S SON 

of him in some way or other. The steward said that he 
would manage this all right. Next morning they were to 
clean the well, and they would make use of that oppor- 
tunity. They would get him down into the well, and 
then have a big mill-stone ready to throw down on top of 
him — that would settle him. After that they could just 
fill in the well, and then escape being at any expense for 
his funeral. Both the squire and his wife thought this 
a splendid idea, and went about rejoicing at the thought 
that now they would get rid of Hans. 

But Hans was hard to kill, as we shall see. He slept 
long next morning, as he always did, and finally, as he 
would not waken by himself, the squire had to go and 
call him. ' Get up, Hans, you are sleeping too long,' he 
cried. Hans woke up and rubbed his eyes. 'That's so/ 
said he, i I shall rise and have my breakfast.' He got up 
then and dressed himself, while the breakfast stood wait- 
ing for him. When he had finished the whole of this, he 
asked what he was to do that day. He was told to help 
the other men to clean out the well. That was all right, 
and he went out and found the other men waiting for him. 
To these he said that they could choose whichever task 
they liked — either to go down into the well and fill the 
buckets while he pulled them up, or pull them up, and 
he alone would go down to the bottom of the well. They 
answered that they would rather stay above-ground, as 
there would be no room for so many of them down in 
the well. 

Hans therefore went down alone, and began to clean 
out the well, but the men had arranged how they were to 
act, and immediately each of them seized a stone from a 
heap of huge blocks, that lay in the farmyard just as 
big as they could lift, and threw them down above him, 
thinking to kill him with these. Hans, however, gave no 
more heed to this than to shout up to them, to keep the 
hens away from the well, for they were scraping gravel 
down on the top of him. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



HANS, THE MERMAID'S SON 121 

They then saw that they could not kill him with 
little stones, but they had still the big one left. The 
whole twelve of them set to work with poles and rollers 
and rolled the big mill-stone to the brink of the well. It 
was with the greatest difficulty that they got it thrown 
down there, and now they had no doubt that he had got 
all that he wanted. But the stone happened to fall so 
luckily that his head went right through the hole in the 
middle of the mill-stone, so that it sat round his neck 
like a priest's collar. At this, Hans would stay down no 
longer. He came out of the well, with the mill-stone 
round his neck, and w T ent straight to the squire and 
complained that the other men were trying to make a 
fool of him. He would not be their priest, he said ; he 
had too little learning for that. Saying this, he bent 
down his head and shook the stone off, so that it crushed 
one of the squire's big toes. 

The squire went limping in to his wife, and the 
steward was sent for. He was told that he must devise 
some plan for getting rid of this terrible person. The 
scheme he had devised before had been of no use, and 
now good counsel was scarce. 

4 Oh, no/ said the steward, ' there are good enough 
ways yet. The squire can send him this evening to fish 
in Devilmoss Lake : he will never escape alive from 
there, for no one can go there by night for Old Eric' 

That was a grand idea, both the squire and his wife 
thought, and so he limped out again to Hans, and said 
that he would punish his men for having tried to make 
a fool of him. Meanwhile, Hans could do a little job 
where he would be free from these rascals. He should 
go out on the lake and fish there that night, and would 
then be free from all work on the following day. 

4 All right,' said Hans; 'J am well content with that, 
but I must have something with me to eat — a baking of 
bread, a cask of butter, a barrel of ale, and a keg of 
brandy. I can't do with less than that.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



122 HAXS, THE MERMAID'S SOX 

The squire said that he could easily get all that, so 
Ilaus got all of these tied up together, hung them over 
his shoulder on his good staff, and tramped away to 
Devilmoss Lake. 

There he got into the boat, rowed out upon the lake, 
and got every thing ready to fish. As he now lay out 
there in the middle of the lake, and it was pretty late in 
the evening, he thought he would have something to eat 
first, before starting to work. Just as he was at his 
busiest with this, Old Eric rose out of the lake, caught 
him by the cuff of the neck, whipped him out of the boat, 
and dragged him down to the bottom. It was a lucky 
thing that Hans had his walking-stick with him that day, 
and had just time to catch hold of it when he felt Old 
Eric's claAvs in his neck, so when they got down to the 
bottom he said, 'Stop now, just wait a little; here is 
solid ground.' With that he caught Old Eric by the back 
of the neck with one hand, and hammered away on Ins 
back with the staff, till he beat him out as flat as a 
pancake. Old Eric then began to lament and howl, 
begging him just to let him go, and he would never come 
back to the lake again. 

'No, my good fellow,' said Hans, ' you won't get off 
until you promise to bring all the fish in the lake up to 
the squire's courtyard, before to-morrow morning.' 

Old Eric eagerly promised this, if Hans would only 
let him go ; so Hans rowed ashore, ate up the rest of his 
provisions, and went home to bed. 

Next morning, when the squire rose and opened his 
front door, the fish came tumbling into the porch, and the 
whole yard was crammed full of them. He ran in again 
to his wife, for he could never devise anything himself, 
and said to her, ' What shall we do with him now? Old 
Eric has n't taken him. I am certain all the fish are out 
of the lake, for the yard is just filled with them.' 

; Yes, that 's a bad business,' said she ; ' you must see if 
you can't get him sent to purgatory, to demand tribute.' The 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



IIAXS, THE MEM MAID'S SOX 



123 



squire therefore made his way to the men's quarters, to 
speak to Hans, and it took him all his time to push his 
way along the walls, under the eaves, on account of the 
fish that filled the yard. He thanked Hans for having 




g§SK CATCHEStElNl! 



fished so well, and said that now he had an errand for 
him, which he could only give to a trusty servant, and 
that was to journey to purgatory, and demand three years' 
tribute, which, he said, was owing to him from that 
quarter. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



124 HANS, THE MERMAID'S SOR 

4 Willingly/ said Hans ; ' but what road do I go, to 
get there ? ' 

The squire stood, and did not know what to say, and 
had first to go in to his wife to ask her. 

< Oh, what a fool you are ! ' said she, ; can't you direct 
him straight forward, south through the wood? Whether 
he gets there or not, ive shall be quit of him.' 

Out goes the squire again to Hans. 

1 The way lies straight forward, south through the 
wood,' said he. 

Hans then must have his provisions for the journey; 
two bakings of bread, two casks of butter, two barrels 
ale, and two kegs of brandy. He tied all these up 
together, and got them on his shoulder hanging on his 
good walking-stick, and off he tramped southward. 

After he had got through the wood, there was more 
than one road, and he was in doubt which of them was 
the right one, so he sat down and opened up his bundle 
of provisions. He found he had left his knife at home, 
but by good chance, there was a plough lying close at 
hand, so he took the coulter of this to cut the bread with. 
As he sat there and took his bite a man came riding past 
him. 

' Where are you from?' said Hans. 

'From Purgatory,' said the man. 

i Then stop and wait a little,' said Hans; but the man 
was in a hurry, and would not stop, so Hans ran after 
him and caught the horse by the tail. This brought it 
down on its hind legs, and the man went flying over 
its head into a ditch. ' Just wait a little, 5 said Hans ; ' I 
am going the same way.' He got his provisions tied up 
again, and laid them on the horse's back ; then he took 
hold of the reins, and said to the man, ' We two can go 
along together on foot.' 

As they went on their way Hans told the stranger 
both about the errand he had on hand and the fun he 
had had with Old Eric. The other said but little, but he 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



HAXS, THE MERMAID'S SOX 125 

was well acquainted with the way, and it was no long 
time before they arrived at the gate. There both horse 
and rider disappeared, and Hans was left alone outside. 
k They will come and let me in presently,' he thought 
to himself; but no one came. He hammered at the gate; 
still no one appeared. Then he got tired of waiting, and 
smashed at the gate with his staff until he knocked it in 
pieces and got inside. A whole troop of little demons 
came down upon him and asked what he wanted. His 
master's compliments, said Hans, and he wanted three 
years' tribute. At this they howled at him, and were 
about to lay hold of him and drag him off; but when 
they had got some raps from his walking-stick they let 
go again, howled still louder than before, and ran in to 
Old Eric, who was still in bed, after his adventure in the 
lake. They told him that a messenger had come from 
the squire at Devilmoss to demand three years' tribute. 
He had knocked the gate in pieces and bruised their 
arms and legs with his iron staff. 

' Give him three years' ! give him ten ! ' shouted Old 
Eric, 4 only don't let him come near me.' 

So all the little demons came dragging so much silver 
and gold that it was something awful. Hans filled his 
bundle with gold and silver coins, put it on his neck, and 
tramped back to his master, who was scared beyond all 
measure at seeing him again. 

But Hans was also tired of service now. Of all the 
gold and silver he brought with him he let the squire keep 
one half, and he was glad enough, both for the money 
and at getting rid of Hans. The other half he took home 
to his father the smith in Furreby. To him also he said 
4 Farewell ; ' he was now tired of living on shore among 
mortal men, and preferred to go home again to his mother. 
Since that time no one has ever seen Hans, the Mermaid's 
Son. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



126 



PETER BULL* 



There once lived in Denmark a peasant and his wife 
who owned a very good farm, but had no children. They 
often lamented to each other that they had no one of 
their own to inherit all the wealth that they possessed. 
They continued to prosper, and became rich people, but 
there was no heir to it all. 

One year it happened that they owned a pretty little 
bull-calf, which they called Peter. It was the prettiest 
little creature they had ever seen — so beautiful and so 
wise that it understood everything that was said to it, 
and so gentle and so full of play that both the man and 
his wife came to be as fond of it as if it had been their 
own child. 

One day the man said to his wife, ' I wonder, now, 
whether our parish clerk could teach Peter to talk; in 
that case we could not do better than adopt him as our 
son, and let him inherit all that we possess.' 

4 Well, I don't know/ said his wife, ' our clerk is tre- 
mendously learned, and knows much more than his 
Paternoster, and I could almost believe that he might be 
able to teach Peter to talk, for Peter has a wonderfully 
good head too. You might at least ask him about it.' 

Off went the man to the clerk, and asked him whether 
he thought he could teach a bull-calf that they had to 
speak, for they wished so much to have it as their heir. 

1 From the Danish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



PETER BULL 127 

The clerk was no fool; lie looked round about to see 
that no one could overhear them, and said, ' Oh, yes, I can 
easily do that, but you must not speak to anyone about it. 
It must be done in all secrecy, and the priest must not 
know of it, otherwise I shall get into trouble, as it 
is forbidden. It will also cost you something, as some 
very expensive books are required.' 

That did not matter at all, the man said ; they would 
not care so very much what it cost. The clerk could have 
a hundred dollars to begin with to buy the books. lie 
also promised to tell no one about it, and to bring the 
calf round in the evening. 

He gave the clerk the hundred dollars on the spot, and 
in the evening took the calf round to him, and the clerk 
promised to do his best with it. In a week's time he 
came back to the clerk to hear about the calf and see how 
it was thriving. The clerk, however, said that he could 
not get a sight of it, for then Peter would long after him 
and forget all that he had already learned. He was 
getting on well with his learning, but another hundred 
dollars were needed, as they must have more books. The 
peasant had the money with him, so he gave it to the clerk, 
and went home again with high hopes. 

In another week the man came again to learn what 
progress Peter had made now. 

' He is getting on very well,' said the clerk. 

' 1 suppose he can't say anything yet? ' said the man. 

' Oh, yes,' said the clerk, ' he can say " Moo " now.* 

'Do you think he will get on with his learning?' 
asked the peasant. 

'Oh, yes,' said the clerk, 'but I shall want another 
hundred dollars for books. Peter can't learn well out of 
the ones that he has got.' 

'Well } well/ said the man, ' what must be spent shall 
be spent.' 

So he gave the clerk the third hundred dollars for 
books, and a cask of good old ale for Peter. The clerk 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



128 PETER BULL 

drank the ale himself, and gave the calf milk, which he 
thought would be better for it. 

Some weeks passed, during which the peasant did not 
come round to ask after the calf, being frightened lest 
it should cost him another hundred dollars, for he had 
begun to squirm a bit at having to part with so much 
money. Meanwhile the clerk decided that the calf was 
as fat as it could be, so he killed it. After he had got 
all the beef out of the way he went inside, put ou his 
black clothes, and made his way to the peasant's house. 

As soon as he had said ' Good-day ' he asked, ' Has 
Peter come home here ? ' 

'No. indeed, he hasn't,' said the man; ' surely he 
has n't run away ? ' 

' I hope,' said the clerk, 4 that he would not behave 
so contemptibly after all the trouble I have had to teach 
him, and all that I have spent upon him. I have had to 
spend at least a hundred dollars of my own money to 
buy books for him before I got him so far on. He could 
say anything he liked now, so he said to-day that he 
longed to see his parents again. I was willing to give 
him that pleasure, but I was afraid that he would n't be 
able to find the way here by himself, so I made myself ready 
to go with him. When we had got outside the house I 
remembered that I had left my stick inside, and went in 
again to get it. When I came out again Peter had gone 
off on his own account. I thought he would be here, and 
if he is n't I don't know where he is.' 

The peasant and his wife began to lament bitterly 
that Peter had run away in this fashion just when they 
were to have so much joy of him, and after they had 
spent so much on his education. The worst of it was 
that now they had no heir after all. The clerk comforted 
them as best he could ; he also was greatly distressed 
that Peter should have behaved in such a way just when 
he should have gained honour from his pupil. Perhaps 
he had only gone astray, and he would advertise him at 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



PETER BULL 129 

church next Sunday, and find out whether anyone had 
seen him. Then he bade them k Good-bye/ and went 
home and dined on a good fat veal roast. 

Now it so happened that the clerk took in a news- 
paper, and one day he chanced to read in its columns of a 
new merchant who had settled in a town at some distance, 
and whose name was 'Peter Bull.' He put the news- 
paper in his pocket, and went round to the sorrowing 
couple who had lost their heir. He read the paragraph 
to them, and added, 4 1 wonder, now, whether that could 
be your bull-calf Peter? ' 

4 Yes, of course it is,' said the man ; ' who else would 
it be?' 

His wife then spoke up and said, ' You must set out, 
good man, and see about him, for it is him, I am perfectly 
certain. Take a good sum of money with you, too; for 
who knows but what he may want some cash now that 
he has turned a merchant ! ' 

Next day the man got a bag of money on his back 
and a sandwich in his pocket, and his pipe in his mouth, 
and set out for the town where the new merchant lived. 
It was no short way, and he travelled for many days 
before he finally arrived there. Me reached it one 
morning, just at daybreak, found out the right place, and 
asked if the merchant was at home. Yes, he was, said 
the people, but he was not up yet. 

4 That does n't matter,' said the peasant, c for I am his 
father. Just show me up to his bedroom.' 

He was shown up to the room, and as soon as he 
entered it, and caught sight of the merchant, he recog- 
nised him at once. He had the same broad forehead, 
the same thick neck, and same red hair, but in other 
respects he was now like a human being. The peasant 
rushed straight up to him and took a firm hold of him. 
4 O Peter,' said he, ' what a sorrow you have caused 
us, both myself and your mother, by running off like tills 
just as we had got you well educated! Get up, now, 

9 
Digitized by Microsoft ® 



130 PETER BULL 

so that I can see you properly, and have a talk with 
you.' 

The merchant thought that it was a lunatic who had 
made his way in to him, and thought it best to take 
things quietly. 

4 All right,' said he, C T shall do so at once.' He got 
out of bed and made haste to dress himself. 

' Ay,' said the peasant, 4 now 1 can see how clever our 
clerk is. lie has done well by you, for now you look 
just like a human being. If one did n't know it, one 
would never think that it was you we got from the red 
cow; will you come home with me now?' 

4 No,' said the merchant, ' I can't find time just now. 
I have a big business to look after.' 

6 You could have the farm at once, you know,' said 
the peasant, ' and we old people would retire. But if 
you would rather stay in business, of course you may do 
so. Are you in want of anything?' 

: Oh, } T es,' said the merchant; ' I want nothing so much 
as money. A merchant has always a use for that.' 

' I can well believe that,' said the peasant, ' for you 
had nothing at all to start with. I have brought some 
with me for that very end.' With that he emptied his 
bag of money out upon the table, so that it was all 
covered with bright dollars. 

When the merchant saw what kind of man he had 
before him he began to speak him fair, and invited him 
to stay with him for some days, so that they might have 
some more talk together. 

'Very well,' said the peasant, 'but you must call me 
"Father."' 

k I have neither father nor mother alive,' said Peter Bull. 

c I know that,' said the man; l your real father was 
sold at Hamburg last Michaelmas, and your real mother 
died while calving in spring ; but my wife and 1 have 
adopted you as our own, and you are our only heir, so 
you must call me " Father." ' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



PETER BULL 131 

Peter Bull was quite willing to do so, and it was 
settled that he should keep the money, while the peasant 
made his will and left to him all that he had, before he 
went home to his wife, and told her the whole story. 

She was delighted to hear that it was true enough 
about Peter Bull — that he was no other than their own 
bull-calf. 

4 You must go at once and tell the clerk,' said she, 
( and pay him the hundred dollars of his own money 
that he spent upon our son. He has earned them well, 
and more besides, for all the joy he has given us in having 
such a son and heir.' 

The man agreed with this, and thanked the clerk 
for all he had done, and gave him two hundred dollars. 
Then he sold the farm and removed with his wife to the 
town where their dear son and heir was living. To him 
they gave all their wealth, and lived with him till their 
dying day. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



132 



THE BIRD <-GRIP' x 

It happened once that a king, who had a great kingdom 
and three sons, became blind, and no human skill or 
art could restore to him his sight. At last there came 
to the palace an old woman, who told him that in the 
whole world there was only one thing that could give 
him back his sight, and that was to get the bird Grip ; 
his song would open the king's eyes. 

When the king's eldest son heard this he offered to 
bring the bird Grip, which was kept in a cage by a king 
in another country, and carefully guarded as his greatest 
treasure. The blind king was greatly rejoiced at his son's 
resolve, fitted him out in the best way he could, and let 
him go. When the prince had ridden some distance 
he came to an inn, in which there were many guests, all 
of whom were merry, and drank and sang and played at 
dice. This joyous life pleased the prince so well that he 
stayed in the inn, took part in the playing and drinking, 
and forgot both his blind father and the bird Grip. 

Meanwhile the king waited with both hope and 
anxiety for his son's return, but as time went on and 
nothing was heard of him, the second prince asked leave 
to go in search of his brother, as well as to bring the bird 
Grip. The king granted his request, and fitted him out 
in the finest fashion. But when the prince came to the 
inn, and found his brother among his merry companions, 

1 Translated from the Swedish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE BIRD 'GRIP' 133 

he also remained there, and forgot both the bird Grip and 
his blind father. 

When the king* noticed that neither of his sons 
returned, although a long time had passed since the 
second one set out, he was greatly distressed, for not only 
had he lost all hope of getting back his sight, but he had 
also lost his two eldest sons. The youngest now came 
to him, and offered to go in search of his brothers and to 
bring the bird Grip; he was quite certain that he would 
succeed in this. The king was unwilling to risk his third 
son on such an errand, but he begged so long that his 
father had at last to consent. This prince also was fitted 
out in the finest manner, like his brothers, and so rode 
away. 

He also turned into the same inn as his brothers, 
and when these saw him they assailed him with man} 7 
entreaties to remain with them and share their merry 
life. But he answered that now, when he had found 
them, his next task was to get the bird Grip, for which 
his blind father was longing, and so he had not a single 
hour to spare with them in the inn. He then said fare- 
well to his brothers, and rode on to find another inn in 
which to pass the night. When he had ridden a long 
wa} T , and it began to grow dark, he came to a house 
which lay deep in the forest. Here he was received in 
a very friendly manner by the host, who put his horse 
into the stable, and led the prince himself into the guest- 
chamber, where he ordered a maid-servant to lay the 
cloth and set down the supper. It was now dark, and 
while the girl was laying the cloth and setting down the 
dishes, and the prince had begun to appease his hunger, 
he heard the most piteous shrieks and cries from the 
next room. He sprang up from the table and asked the 
girl what these cries were, and whether he had fallen into 
a den of robbers. The girl answered that these shrieks 
were heard every night, but it was no living being who 
uttered them ; it was a dead man, whose life the host 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



134 THE BIRD 'GRIP* 

had taken because be could not pay for the meals he had 
had in the inn. The host further refused to bury the 
dead man, as he had left nothing to pay the expenses of 
the funeral, and every night he went and scourged the 
dead body of his victim. 

When she had said this she lifted the cover off one 
of the dishes, and the prince saw that there lay on it a 
knife and an axe. He understood then that the host 
meant to ask him by this what kind of death he preferred 
to die, unless he was willing to ransom his life with his 
money. He then summoned the host, gave him a large 
sum for his own life, and paid the dead man's debt as 
well, besides paying him for burying the body, which the 
murderer now promised to attend to. 

The prince, however, felt that his life was not safe in 
this murderer's den, and asked the maid to help him to 
escape that night. She replied that the attempt to do so 
might cost her her own life, as the key of the stable in 
which the prince's horse stood lay under the host's 
pillow; but, as she herself was a prisoner there, she would 
help him to escape if he would take her along with him. 
He promised to do so, and they succeeded in getting away 
from the inn, and rode on until they came to another far 
away from it, where the prince got a good place for the 
girl before proceeding on his journe3 T . 

As he now rode all alone through a forest there met 
him a fox, who greeted him in a friendly fashion, and 
asked him where he was going, and on what errand he 
was bent. The prince answered that his errand was too 
important to be confided to everyone that he met. 

' You are right in that,' said the fox, ' for it relates to 
the bird Grip, which you want to take and bring home to 
your blind father; I could help you in this, but in that 
case you must follow my counsel.' 

The prince thought that this was a good offer, 
especially as the fox was ready to go with him and show 
him the way to the castle, where the bird Grip sat in his 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE BIRD < GRIP ' 1 35 

cage, and so he promised to obey the fox's instructions. 
When they had traversed the forest together they saw 
the castle at some distance. Then the fox gave the prince 
three grains of gold, one of which he was to throw into 
the guard-room, another into the room where the bird 
Grip sat, and the third into its cage. He could then take 
the bird, but he must beware of stroking it; otherwise it 
would go ill with him. 

The prince took the grains of gold, and promised to 
follow the fox's directions faithfully. When he came to 
the guard-room of the castle he threw one of the grains 
in there, and the guards at once fell asleep. The same 
thing happened with those who kept watch in the room 
beside the bird Grip, and when he threw the third grain 
into its cage the bird also fell asleep. When the prince 
got the beautiful bird into his hand he could not resist 
the temptation to stroke it, whereupon it awoke and began 
to scream. At this the whole castle woke up and the 
prince was taken prisoner. 

As he now sat in his prison, and bitterly lamented 
that his own disobedience had brought himself into 
trouble, and deprived his father of the chance of recovering 
his sight, the fox suddenly stood in front of him. The 
prince was very pleased to see it again, and received with 
great meekness all its reproaches, as well as promised to 
be more obedient in the future, if the fox would only help 
him out of his fix. The fox said that he had come to 
assist him, but he could do no more than advise the 
prince, when he was brought up for trial, to answer ' yes ' 
to all the judge's questions, and everything would go 
well. The prince faithfully followed his instructions, so 
that when the judge asked him whether he had meant to 
steal the bird Grip he said 4 Yes,' and when the judge 
asked him if he was a master-thief he again answered 
'Yes.' 

When the king heard that he admitted being a master- 
thief, he said that he would forgive him the attempt to 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



136 THE BIRD 'GRIP 1 

steal the bird if be would go to the next kingdom and 
carry off the world's most beautiful princess, and bring 
her to him. To this also the prince said t Yes.' 

"When he left the castle he met the fox, who went 
along with him to the next kingdom, and, when they came 
near the castle there, gave him three grains of gold — one 
to throw into the guard-room; another into the princess's 
chamber, and the third into her bed. At the same time 
he strictly warned him not to kiss the princess. The 
prince went to the castle, and did with the grains of gold 
as the fox had told him, so that sleep fell upon everyone 
there; but when he had taken the princess into his arms 
he forgot the fox's warning, at the sight of her beauty, 
and kissed her. Then both she and all the others in the 
castle woke ; the prince was taken prisoner, and put into 
a strong dungeon. 

Here the fox again came to him and reproached him 
with his disobedience, but promised to help him out of 
this trouble also if he would answer ' yes ' to everything 
they asked him at his trial. The prince willingly agreed 
to this, and admitted to the judge that he had meant to 
steal the princess, and that he was a master-thief. 

When the king learned this he said he would forgive 
his offence if he would go to the next kingdom and steal 
the horse with the four golden shoes. To this also the 
prince said ' Yes.' 

When he had gone a little way from the castle he 
met the fox, and they continued on their journey together. 
When they reached the end of it the prince for the third 
time received three grains of gold from the fox, with 
directions to throw one into the guard-chamber, another 
into the stable, and the third into the horse's stall. But 
the fox told him that above the horse's stall hung a 
beautiful golden saddle, which he must not touch, if he 
did not want to bring himself into new troubles worse 
than those he had escaped from, for then the fox could 
help him no longer. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




THt</?fUNCE*F0KQOT"THE , 'T , O% , 5" Oi/AKN»N^&- M55ED-T|tE^R,lNCE bS 
"mrK>^BoTK«>SKt,-AND^At.VTHEOThEKg ) 1^TKr-CASTLE.>KWQKE^ 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



138 THE BIRD 'GRIP' 

The prince promised to be firm this time. He threw 
the grains of gold in the proper places, and untied the 
horse, but with that he caught sight of the golden saddle, 
and thought that none but it could suit so beautiful a 
horse, especiall} T as it had golden shoes. But just as he 
stretched out bis hand to take it he received from some 
invisible being so hard a blow on the arm that it was 
made quite numb. This recalled to him his promise and 
his danger, so he led out the horse without looking at the 
golden saddle again. 

The fox was waiting for him outside the castle, and 
the prince confessed to him that he had very nearly given 
way to temptation this time as well. ' I know that/ said 
the fox, 4 for it was I who struck you over the arm.' 

As the} T now went on together the prince said that he 
could not forget the beautiful princess, and asked the fox 
whether he did not think that she ought to ride home to his 
father's palace on this horse with the golden shoes. The 
fox agreed that this would be excellent ; if the priuce would 
now go and carry her off he would give him three grains 
of gold for that purpose. The prince was quite ready, 
and promised to keep better command of himself this 
time, and not kiss her. 

lie got the grains of gold and entered the castle, where 
he carried off the priucess, set her on the beautiful horse, 
and held on his way. When they came near to the castle 
where the bird Grip sat in his cage he again asked the 
fox for three grains of gold. These he got, and with them 
he was successful in carrying off the bird. 

lie was now full of joy, for his blind father would 
now recover his sight, while he himself owned the world's 
most beautiful princess and the horse with the golden 
shoes. 

The prince and the princess travelled on together with 
mirth and happiness, and the fox followed them until 
they came to the forest where the prince first met with 
hinj. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE BIRD 'GBIP* 139 

' Here our ways part,' said the fox. ' You bave now got 
all tbat your heart desired, and you will have a pros- 
perous journey to your father's palace if only you do not 
ransom anyone's life with mone} 7 .' 

The prince thanked the fox for all his help, promised 
to give heed to his warning, said farewell to him, and rode 
on, with the princess by his side and the bird Grip on his 
wrist. 

They soon arrived at the inn where the two eldest 
brothers had stayed, forgetting their errand. But now no 
merry song or noise of mirth was heard from it. AVhen 
the prince came nearer he saw two gallows erected, and 
when he entered the inn along with the princess he saw 
that all the rooms were hung with black, and that every- 
thing inside foreboded sorrow and death, lie asked the 
reason of this, and was told that two princes were to be 
hanged that da} 7 for debt ; they had spent all their money 
in feasting and playing, and were now deeply in debt to 
the host, and as no one could be found to ransom their 
lives they were about to be hanged according to the law. 

The prince knew that it was his two brothers who had 
thus forfeited their lives, and it cut him to the heart to 
think that two princes should suffer such a shameful 
death; and, as he had sufficient money with him, he paid 
their debts, and so ransomed their lives. 

At first the brothers were grateful for their liberty, 
but when they saw the youngest brother's treasures they 
became jealous of his good fortune, and planned how to 
bring him to destruction, and then take the bird Grip, 
the princess, and the horse with the golden shoes, and 
convey them to their blind father. After they had agreed 
on how to carry out their treacher} 7 they enticed the prince 
to a den of lions and threw him down among them. Then 
they set the princess on horseback, took the bird Grip, 
and rode homeward. The princess wept bitterly, but they 
told her that it would cost her her life if she did not say 
that the two brothers had won all the treasures. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



140 THE BIRD 'GRIP' 

When they arrived at their father's palace there was 
great rejoicing, and everyone praised the two princes for 
their courage and bravery. 

When the king inquired after the youngest brother 
they answered that he had led such a life in the inn that 
he had been hanged for debt. The king sorrowed bitterly 
over this, because the youngest prince was his dearest 
son, and the joy over the treasures soon died away, for 
the bird Grip would not sing so that the king might recover 
his sight, the princess wept night and day, and no one 
dared to venture so close to the horse as to have a look 
at his golden shoes. 

Now when the youngest prince was thrown down into 
the lions' den he found the fox sitting there, and the 
lions, instead of tearing him to pieces, showed him the 
greatest friendliness. Nor was the fox angry with him 
for having forgot his last warning. He only said that 
sons who could so forget their old father and disgrace 
their royal birth as these had done would not hesitate to 
betray their brother either. Then he took the prince up 
out of the lions' den and gave him directions what to do 
now so as to come by his rights again. 

The prince thanked the fox with all his heart for his 
true friendship, but the fox answered that if he had been 
of any use to him he would now for his own part ask a 
service of him. The prince replied that he would do him 
any service that was in his power. 

4 I have only one thing to ask of you, 1 said the fox, ' and 
that is, that you should cut off my head with your sword.' 

The prince was astonished, and said thai he could not 
bring himself to cut the head off his truest friend, and to 
this he stuck in spite of all the fox's declarations that it 
was the greatest service he could do him. At this the 
fox became very sorrowful, and declared that the prince's 
refusal to grant his request now compelled him to do a 
deed which he was very unwilling to do — if the prince 
would not cut of his head, then he must kill the prince 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE BIRD <GMP 9 141 

himself. Then at last the prince drew his good sword and 
cut off the fox's head, and the next moment a youth 
stood before him. 

4 Thanks,' said he, ; for this service, which has freed 
me from a spell that not even death itself could loosen. 
I am the dead man who lay unburied in the robber's inn, 
where you ransomed me and gave me honourable burial, 
and therefore I have helped you in your journey.' 

With this they parted, and the prince, disguising 
himself as a horse-shoer, went up to his father's palace 
and offered his services there. 

The king's men told him that a horse-shoer was 
indeed wanted at the palace, but he must be one who 
could lift up the feet of the horse with the golden shoes, 
and such a one they had not yet been able to find. The 
prince asked to see the horse, and as soon as he entered 
the stable the steed began to neigh in a friendly fashion, 
and stood as quiet and still as a lamb while the prince 
lifted up his hoofs, one after the other, and showed the 
king's men the famous golden shoes. 

After this the king's men began to talk about the bird 
Grip, and how strange it was that he would not sing, 
however well he was attended to. The horse-shoer then 
said that he knew the bird very well ; he had seen it when 
it sat in its cage in another king's palace, and if it did not 
sing now it must be because it did not have all that it 
wanted. He himself knew so much about the bird's 
ways that if he only got to see it he could tell at once 
what it lacked. 

The king's men now took counsel whether they ought 
to take the stranger in before the king, for in his chamber 
sat the bird Grip along with the weeping princess. It 
was decided to risk doing so, and the horse-shoer was led 
into the king's chamber, where he had no sooner called 
the bird by its name than it began to sing and the 
princess to smile. Then the darkness cleared away 
from the king's eyes, and the more the bird sang 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



U'2 



THE BIRD < GRIP 



the more clearly did he see, till at last in the strange 
horse-shoer he recognised his youngest son. Then the 
princess told the king how treacherously his eldest sons 
had acted, and he had them banished from his kingdom ; 




but the youngest prince married the princess, and got 
the horse with the golden shoes and half the kingdom 
from his father, who kept for himself so long as he 
lived the bird Grip, which now sang with all its heart to 
the king and all his court. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



143 



SNOWFLAKE* 

Once upon a time there lived a peasant called Ivan, 
and be had a wife whose name was Marie. They would 
have been quite happy except for one thing: they bad no 
children to play with, and as they were now old people 
they did not find that watching the children of their neigh- 
bours at all made up to them for having none of their own. 

One winter, which nobody living will ever forget, the 
snow lay so deep that it came up to the knees of even 
the tallest man. When it had all fallen, and the sun was 
shining again, the children ran out into the street to play, 
and the old man and his wife sat at their window and 
gazed at them. The children first made a sort of little 
terrace, and stamped it hard and firm, and then they 
began to make a snow woman. Ivan and Marie watched 
them, the while thinking about many things. 

Suddenly Ivan's face brightened, and, looking at his 
wife, he said, i Wife, why should n't we make a snow 
woman too ? ' 

4 Why not?' replied Marie, who happened to be in a 
very good temper ; ' it might amuse us a little. But there 
is no use making a woman. Let us make a little snow 
child, and pretend it is a living one.' 

' Yes, let us do that,' said Ivan, and he took down his 
cap and went into the garden with his old wife. 

1 Slavonic story. Contcs Populates Slaves, traduits par Louis 
Leger. Paris : Leroux, Editeur. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



144 SNOWFLAKE 

Then the two set to work with all their might to 
make a doll out of the snow. They shaped a little body 
and two little hands and two little feet. On top of all 
they placed a ball of snow, out of which the head was to 
be. 

1 AVhat in the world are you doing ? ' asked a passer 

by. 

k Can't you guess?' returned Ivan. 

' Making a snow-child/ replied Marie. 

They had finished the nose and the chin. Two holes 
were left for the eyes, and Ivan carefully shaped out the 
mouth. No sooner had he done so than he felt a warm 
breath upon his cheek. He started back in surprise and 
looked — and behold ! the eyes of the child met his, and 
its lips, which were as red as raspberries, smiled at him ! 

' What is it? ' cried Ivan, crossing himself. w Am I mad, 
or is the thing bewitched?' 

The snow- child bent its head as if it had been reall} 
alive. It moved its little arms and its little legs in the 
snow that lay about it just as the living children did 
theirs. 

' Ah ! Ivan, Ivan,' exclaimed Marie, trembling with 
joy, ; heaven has sent us a child at last! ' And she threw 
herself upon Snowllake (for that was the snow-child's 
name) and covered her with kisses. And the loose snow 
fell away from Snowflake as an egg shell does from an 
egg, and it was a little girl whom Marie held in her arms. 

' Oh ! my darling Snowflake ! ' cried the old woman, 
>and led her into the cottage. 

And Snowflake grew fast ; each hour as well as each 
day made a difference, and every day she became more 
and more beautiful. The old couple hardly knew how to 
contain themselves for joy, and thought of nothing else. 
The cottage was always full of village children, for they 
amused Snowflake, and there was nothing in the world 
they would not have done to amuse her. She was their 
doll, and they were continually inventing new dresses for 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



SNOWFLAKE 145 

her, and teaching her songs or playing with her. Nobody 
knew how r clever she was ! She noticed everything, and 
could learn a lesson in a moment. Anyone would have 
taken her for thirteen at least ! And, besides all that, she 
was so good and obedient ; and so pretty, too ! Her skin 
was as white as snow, her eyes were as blue as forget- 
me-nots, and her hair was long and golden. Only her 
cheeks had no colour in them, but were as fair as her 
forehead. 

So the winter went on, till at last the spring sun 
mounted higher in the heavens and began to warm the 
earth. The grass grew green in the fields, and high in 
the air the larks were heard singing. The village girls 
met and danced in a ring, singing, ; Beautiful spring, how 
came you here? How came you here? Did you come 
on a plough, or was it a harrow? ' Only Snowflake sat 
quite still by the window of the cottage. 

' AVhat is the matter, dear child?' asked Marie. 
4 Why are you so sad ? Are you ill ? or have they treated 
you unkindly?' 

4 No,' replied Snowflake, ' it is nothing, mother ; no 
one has hurt me : I am well.' 

The spring sun had chased away the last snow from 
its hiding place under the hedges ; the fields were full of 
flowers ; nightingales sang in the trees, and all the world 
was gay. But the gayer grew r the birds and the flowers 
the sadder became Snowflake. She hid herself from 
her playmates, and curled herself up where the shadows 
were deepest, like a lily amongst its leaves. Her only 
pleasure was to lie amid the green willows near some 
sparkling stream. At the dawn and at twilight only 
she seemed happy. When a great storm broke, and the 
earth was white with hail, she became bright and joyous 
as the Snowflake of old; but when the clouds passed, 
and the hail melted beneath the sun, Snowflake would 
burst into tears and weep as a sister would w r eep over her 
brother. 

10 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



146 SNOWFLAKE 

The spring passed, and it was the eve of St. John, or 
Midsummer Day. This was the greatest holiday of the 
year, when the young girls met in the woods to dance 
and play. They went to fetch Snowflake, and said to 
Marie : ' Let her come and dance with us.' 

But Marie was afraid : she could not tell why, only 
she could not bear the child to go. Snowflake did not 
wish to go either, but they had no excuse ready. So Marie 
kissed the girl and said : w Go, my Snowflake, and be happy 
with your friends, and you, dear children, be careful of 
her. You know she is the light of my eyes to me.' 

' Oh, we will take care of her,' cried the girls gaily, 
and they ran off to the woods. There they wore wreaths, 
gathered nosegays, and sang songs — some sad, some 
merry. And whatever they did Snowflake did too. 

"When the sun set they lit a fire of dry grass, and 
placed themselves in a row, Snowflake being the last of 
all. ' Now watch us,' they said, ' and run just as we do.' 

And they all began to sing and to jump one after 
another across the fire. 

Suddenly, close behind them, they heard a sigh, then 
a groan. k Ah! ' They turned hastily and looked at each 
other. There was nothing. The} T looked again. Where 
was Snowflake? She has hidden herself for fun, they 
thought, and searched for her everywhere. ' Snowflake ! 
Snowflake!' But there was no answer. c Where can 
she be? Oh, she must have gone home.' They returned 
to the village, but there was no Snowflake. 

For days after that they sought her high and low. 
The} T examined every bush and every hedge, but there 
was no Snowflake. And long after everyone else had 
given up hope Ivan and Marie would wander through 
the woods crying ' Snowflake, my dove, come back, come 
back!' And sometimes they thought they heard a call, 
but it was never the voice of Snowflake. 

And what had become of her? Had a fierce wild 
beast seized her and dragged her into his lair in the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



SXOWFLAKE U) 

forest? Had some bird carried her off across the wide 
blue sea? 

A T o, no beast had touched her, no bird had borne her 
away. With the first breath of tiauie that swept over 
her when she ran with her friends Suowflake had melted 
away, and a little soft haze floating upwards was all that 
remained of her. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



148 



I KNOW WHAT I HAVE LEARNED} 

There was once a man who bad three daughters, and 
they were all married to trolls, who lived underground. 
One day the man thought that he would pay them a visit, 
and his wife gave him some dry bread to eat by the way. 
After he had walked some distance he grew both tired 
and hungry, so he sat down on the east side of a mound 
and began to eat his dry bread. The mound then opened, 
and his youngest daughter came out of it, and said, 
' Why, father! why are you not coming in to see me?' 

4 Oh,' said he, ; if I had known that you lived here, 
and had seen any entrance, I would have come in.' 

Then he entered the mound along with her. 

The troll came home soon after this, and his wife told 
him that her father was come, and asked him to go and 
buy some beef to make broth with. 

' We can get it easier than that! ' said the troll. 

He fixed an iron spike into one of the beams of the 
roof, and ran his head against this till he had knocked 
several large pieces off his head. He was just as well as 
ever after doing this, and they got their broth without 
further trouble. 

The troll then gave the old man a sack full of money, 
and laden with this he betook himself homewards. When 
he came near his home he remembered that he had a 
cow about to calve, so he laid down the money on the 
ground, ran home as fast as he could, and asked his wife 
whether the cow had calved yet. 

1 From the Danish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



/ KNOW WHAT I HA YE LEARNED 



149 



'What kind of a hurry is this to come home in?' 
said she. w No, the cow has not calved yet.' 

' Then you must come out and help me in with a 
sackful of money,' said the man. 

• A sackful of money?' cried his wife. 

' Yes, a sackful of money,' said he. ' Is that so very 
wonderful ? ' 




His wife did not believe very much what he told her, 
but she humoured him, and went out with him. 

When they came to the spot where he had left it 
there was no money there ; a thief had come along and 
stolen it. His wife then grew angry and scolded him 
heartily. 

'Well, well!' said he, 'hang the money! I know 
what I have learned/ 

4 What have you learned? ' said she. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



150 / KNOW WHAT I HAVE LEARNED 

1 Ah ! /know that,' said the man. 

After some time had passed the man had a mind 
to visit his second eldest daughter. His wife again gave 
hiin some dry bread to eat, and when he grew tired and 
hungry he sat down on the east side of a mound and 
began to eat it. As he sat there his daughter came up 
out of the mound, and invited him to come inside, which 
he did very willingly. 

Soon after this the troll came home. It was dark by 
that time, and his wife bade him go and buy some candles. 



4 Oh, we shall soon get a light,' said the troll. With 
that he dipped his fingers into the fire, and they then 
gave light without being burned in the least, 

The old man got two sacks of money here, and 
plodded away homewards with these. When he was 
very nearly home he again thought of the cow that was 
with calf, so he laid down the money, ran home, and 
asked his wife whether the cow had calved yet. 

'Whatever is the matter with you?' said she. 'You 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



/ KNOW WHAT 1 HAVE LEARNED 



151 



come hurrying as if the whole .house was about to fall. 
You may set your mind at rest : the cow has not calved 
yet/ 

The man now asked her to come and help him home 
with the three sacks of money. She did not believe him 
very much, but he continued to assure her that it was 
quite true, till at last she gave in and went with him. 
When they came to the spot there had again been a 




tit t5 RQLl?Xfl PL ES VPjZHL FISHER 



thief there and taken the money. It was no wonder that 
the woman was angry about this, but the man only said, 
c Ah, if you only knew what I have learned.' 

A third time the man set out — to visit his eldest 
daughter. When he came to a mound he sat down on 
the east side of it and ate the dry bread which his wife 
had given him to take with him. The daughter then 
came out of the mound and invited her father to come 
inside. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



152 / KNOW WHAT I HAVE LEARNED 

In a little the troll came Lome, and bis wife asked 
him to go and buy some fish. 

' We can get them much more easily than that/ said 
the troll. ' Give -me your dough trough and your ladle.' 

They seated themselves in the trough, and rowed out 
on the lake which was beside the mound. When they 
had got out a little way the troll said to his wife, ' Are 
my eyes green ? ' 

' No, not yet,' said she. 

He rowed on a little further and asked again, ' Are 
my e} T es not green } T et ? ' 

1 Yes,' said his wife, ' they are green now.' 

Then the troll sprang into the water and ladled up so 
many fish that in a short time the trough could hold no 
more. They then rowed home again, and had a good meal 
off the fish. 

The old man now got three sacks full of money, and 
set off home with them. When he was almost home the 
cow again came into his head, and he laid down the 
money. This time, however, he took his wooden shoes 
and laid them above the mone} 7 , thinking that no one would 
take it after that. Then he ran home and asked his 
wife whether the cow had calved. It had not, and she 
scolded him again for behaving in this way, but in the 
end he persuaded her to go with him to help him with 
the three sacks of money. 

When they came to the spot they found onty the 
wooden shoes, for a thief had come along in the mean- 
time and taken all the money. The woman was very 
angry, and broke out upon her husband ; but he took it all 
very quietly, and only said, 'Hang the money! I know 
what 1 have learned.' 

4 What have you learned I should like to know ? ' 
said his wife. 

4 You will see that } T et,' said the man. 

One day his wife took a fancy for broth, and said to 
him, ' Oh, go to the village, and buy a piece of beef to 
make broth/ 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



/ KNOW WHAT I HAVE LEARNED 153 

' There 's no need of that,' said he ; ' we can get it an 
easier way.' With that he drove a spike into a beam, 
and ran his head against it, and in consequence had to lie 
in bed for a long time afterwards. 

After he had recovered from this his wife asked him 
one day to go and buy candles, as they had none. 

4 No,' he said, 'there's no need for that;' and he 
stuck his hand into the lire. This also made him take to 
bed for a good while. 

When he had got better again his wife one day 
wanted fish, and asked him to go and buy some. The 
man, however, wished again to show what he had 
learned, so he asked her to come along with him and 
bring her dough trough and a ladle. They both seated 
themselves in this, and rowed upon the lake. AVhen 
they had got out a little way the man said, ' Are my eyes 
green ? ' 

' No,' said his wife; ' why should they be? ' 

They rowed a little further out, and he asked again, 
'Are my eyes not green yet?' 

'What nonsense is this?' said she; 'why should 
they be green? ' 

'Oh, my dear,' said he, 'can't you just say that they 
are green ? ' 

' Very well,' said she, ' they are green.' 

As soon as he heard this he sprang out into the 
water with the ladle for the fishes, but he just got leave 
to stay there with them! 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



154 



THE CUNNING SHOEMAKER} 



Once upon a time there lived a shoemaker who could get 
no work to do, and was so poor that he and his wife 
nearly died of hunger. At last he said to her, ; It is no 
use waiting on here — I can find nothing; so I shall go 
down to Mascalucia, and perhaps there I shall be more 
lucky.' 

So down he went to Mascalucia, and walked through 
the streets crying, 'Who wants some shoes?' And very 
soon a window was pushed up, and a woman's head was 
thrust out of it. 

'Here are a pair for you to patch,' she said. And he 
sat down on her doorstep and set about patching them. 

'How much do I owe you?' she asked when they 
were done. 

4 A shilling.' 

' Here is eighteenpence, and good luck to you.' And 
he went his way. He turned into the next street and set 
up his cry again, and it was not long before another 
window was pushed up and another head appeared. 

'Here are some shoes for you to patch.' 

And the shoemaker sat down on the doorstep and 
patched them. 

'How much do I owe you?' asked the woman when 
the shoes were finished. 

' A florin.' 

' Here is a crown piece, and good luck to you.' And 
she shut the window. 

1 Sicilianische Mahrchen. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE GUNNING SHOEMAKER 155 

' Well,' thought the shoemaker, ' I have done finely. 
But I will not go back to my wife just yet, as, if I only 
go on at this rate, I shall soou have enough money to buy 
a donkey.' 

Having made up his mind what was best to do, he 
stayed in the town a few days longer — till he had four gold 
pieces safe in his purse. Then he went to the market, 
and for two of them he bought a good strong donkey, and, 
mounting on its back, he rode home to Catania. But as 
he entered a thick wood he saw in the distance a band of 
robbers who were coming quickly towards him. 

'I am lost/ thought he; 'they are sure to take from 
me all the money that I have earned, and I shall be as 
poor as ever I was. What can I do?' However, being 
a clever little man and full of spirit, he did not lose heart, 
but, taking five florins, he fastened them out of sight under 
the donkey's thick mane. Then he rode on. 

Directly the robbers came up to him they seized 
him exactly as he had foretold and took away all his 
money. 

4 Oh, dear friends!' he cried, wringing his hands, 'I 
am only a poor shoemaker, and have nothing but this 
donkey left in the world.' 

As he spoke the donkey gave himself a shake, and 
down fell the five florins. 

k Where did that come from? ' asked the robbers. 

'Ah,' replied the shoemaker, ' you have guessed my 
secret. The donkey is a golden donkey, and supplies me 
with all my money.' 

' Sell him to us,' said the robbers. ' We will give you 
any price you like.' 

The shoemaker at first declared that nothing would 
induce him to sell him, but at last he agreed to hand him 
over to the robbers for fifty gold pieces. ' But listen to 
what I tell you,' said he. ' You must each take it in 
turn to own him for a night and a day, or else you will 
all be fighting over the money.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



156 THE CUNNING SHOEMAKER 

With these words they parted, the robbers driving 
the donkey to their cave in the forest and the shoemaker 
returning home, very pleased with the success of his 
trick. He just stopped on the way to pick up a good 
dinner, and the next day spent most of his gains in buying 
a small vineyard. 

Meanwhile the robbers had arrived at the cave where 
they lived, and the captain, calling them all round him, 
announced that it was his right to have the donkey for 
the first night. His companions agreed, and then he 
told his wife to put a mattress in the stable. She asked 
if he had gone out of his mind, but he answered crossly, 
i What is that to you? Do as you are bid, and to-morrow 
I will bring you some treasures.' 

Very early the captain awoke and searched the stable, 
but could find nothing, and guessed that Master Joseph 
had been making fun of them. ' Well,' he said to 
himself, u if / have been taken iu, the others shall not 
come off any better.' 

So, when one of his men arrived and asked him 
eagerly how much money he had got, he answered gaily, 
'Oh, comrade, if you only knew! But I shall say 
nothing about it till everyone has had his turn!' 

One after another they all took the donkey, but no 
money was forthcoming for anybody. At length, when 
all the band had been tricked, they held a council, and 
resolved to inarch to the shoemaker's house and punish 
him well for his cunning. Just as before, the shoemaker 
saw them a long way off, and began to think how he 
could outwit them again. When he had hit upon a plan 
he called his wife, and said to her, c Take a bladder and 
fill it with blood, and bind it round your neck. When 
the robbers come and demand the money they gave me 
for the donkey J shall shout to you and tell you to get 
it quickly. You must argue with me, and decline to 
obey me, and then I shall plunge my knife into the 
bladder, and you must fall to the ground as if you were 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE CUNNING SHOEMAKER Vol 

dead. There you must lie till I play on my guitar; then 
get up and begin to dance.' 

The wife made haste to do as she was bid, and there 
was no time to lose, for the robbers were drawing very 
near the house. They entered with a great noise, and 
overwhelmed the shoemaker with reproaches for having 
deceived them about the donkey. 

1 The poor beast must have lost its power owing to the 
change of masters,' said he ; i but we will not quarrel 
about it. You shall have back the fifty gold pieces that 
you gave for him. Aite,' he cried to his wife, l go quickly to 
the chest upstairs, and bring down the money for these 
gentlemen/ 

6 Wait a little/ answered she ; 1 1 must first bake this 
fish. It will be spoilt if I leave it now.' 

' Go this instant, as you are bid,' shouted the shoe- 
maker, stamping as if he was in a great passion, but, as 
she did not stir, he drew his knife, and stabbed her in the 
neck. The blood spurted out freely, and she fell to the 
ground as if she was dead. 

' What have you done?' asked the robbers, looking at 
him in dismay. ' The poor woman was doing nothing.' 

i Perhaps I was hasty, but it is easily set right,' replied 
the shoemaker, taking down his guitar and beginning to 
play. Hardly had he struck the first notes than his wife 
sat up ; then got on her feet and danced. 

The robbers stared with open mouths, and at last they 
said, k Master Joseph, you may keep the fifty gold pieces. 
But tell us what you will take for your guitar, for you 
must sell it to us ? ' 

4 Oh, that is impossible ! ' replied the shoemaker, ' for 
every time I have a quarrel with my wife I just strike 
her dead, and so give vent to my anger. This has become 
such a habit with me that I don't think I could break 
myself of it; and, of course, if I got rid of the guitar I 
could never bring her back to life again.' 

However, the robbers would not listen to him, and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



158 THE CUNNING SHOEMAKER 

at last he consented to take forty gold pieces for the 
guitar. 

Then they all returned to their cave in the forest, 
delighted with their new purchase, and longing for a 
chance of trying its powers. But the captain declared 
that the first trial belonged to him, and after that the 
others might have their turn. 

That evening he called to his wife and said, 4 What 
have you got for supper ? ' 

; Macaroni,' answered she. 

4 Why have you not boiled a fish?' he cried, and 
stabbed her in the neck so that she fell dead. The 
captain, who was not in the least angry, seized the guitar 
and began to play; but, let him play as loud as he would, 
the dead woman never stirred. ' Oh, lying shoemaker ! 
Oh, abomiuable knave ! Twice has he got the better of 
me. But I will pay him out! ' 

So he raged and swore, but it did him no good. The 
fact remained that he had killed his wife and could not 
bring her back again. 

The next morning came one of the robbers to fetch 
the guitar, and to hear what had happened. 

4 Well, how have you got on?' 

4 Oh, splendidI} T ! I stabbed my wife, and then began 
to play, and now she is as well as ever.' 

' Did jo\\ really? Then this evening I will try for 
myself.' 

Of course the same thing happened over again, till all 
the wives had been killed secretly, and when there were 
no more left they whispered to each other the dreadful 
tale, and swore to be avenged on the shoemaker. 

The band lost no time in setting out for his house, and, 
as before, the shoemaker saw them coming from afar. 
He called to his wife, who was washing in the kitchen : 
' Listen, Aita : when the robbers come and ask for me 
say I have gone to the vineyard. Then teli the dog to 
call me, and chase him from the house.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE GUNNIXG SHOEMAKER 159 

When he had given these directions he ran out of the 
back door and hid behind a barrel. A few minutes later 
the robbers arrived, and called loudly for the shoemaker. 

' Alas ! good gentlemen, he is up in the vineyard, but 
I will send the dog after him at once. Here ! now 
quickly to the vineyard, and tell your master some gentle- 
men are here who wish to speak to him. Go as fast as 
you can/ And she opened the door and let the dog out. 

4 You can really trust the dog to call your husband?' 
asked the robbers. 

< Dear me, yes ! He understands everything, and will 
always carry an} T message I give him.' 

By-and-b3 T e the shoemaker came in and said, ' Good 
morning, gentlemen ; the dog tells me you wish to speak 
to me.' 

' Yes, we do,' replied the robber ; ' we have come to 
speak to you about that guitar. It is your fault that we 
have murdered all our wives ; and, though we played as 
you told us, none of them ever came back to life.' 

; You could not have played properly,' said the shoe- 
maker. 4 It was your own fault.' 

4 AVell, we will forget all about it,' answered the 
robbers, ' if you will only sell us your dog.' 

4 Oh, that is impossible ! I should never get on without 
him.' 

But the robbers offered him forty gold pieces, and at 
last he agreed to let them have the dog. 

So they departed, taking the dog with them, and when 
they got back to their cave the captain declared that it 
was his right to have the first trial. 

He then called his daughter, and said to her, ' I am 
going to the inn; if anybod} T wants me, loose the dog, and 
send him to call me.' 

About an hour after some one arrived on business, 
and the girl untied the dog and said, ' Go to the inn and 
call my father ! ' The dog bounded off, but ran straight 
to the shoemaker. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



160 THE CUNNING SHOEMAKER 

"When the robber got home and found no dog lie 
thought 'He must have gone back to his old master,' and, 
though night had already fallen, he went off after him. 

4 Master Joseph, is the dog here?' asked he. 

' Ah ! yes, the poor beast is so fond of me ! You must 
give him time to get accustomed to new ways.' 

So the captain brought the dog back, and the following 
morning handed him over to another of the band, just 
saying that the animal really could do what the shoe- 
maker had said. 

The second robber carefully kept his own counsel, and 
fetched the dog secretly back from the shoemaker, and so 
on through the whole baud. At length, when everybody 
had suffered, they met and told the whole story, and next 
day they all marched off in fury to the man who had 
made game of them. After reproaching him with having 
deceived them, they tied him up in a sack, and told him 
they were going to throw him into the sea. The shoe- 
maker lay quite still, and let them do as they would. 

They went on till they came to a church, and the 
robbers said, 'The sun is hot and the sack is heavy; let 
us leave it here and go in and rest.' So they put the 
sack down by the roadside, and went into the church. 

Now, on a hill near by there was a swineherd looking 
after a great herd of pigs and whistling merrily. 

When Master Joseph heard him he cried out as loud 
as he could, ' I won't ; I won't, I say.' 

4 What won't you do? ' asked the swineherd. 

w Oh,' replied the shoemaker. ' They want me to marry 
the king's daughter, and I won't do it.' 

' How lucky you are ! ' sighed the swineherd. ' Now, 
if it were only me ! ' 

'Oh, if that's all!' replied the cunning shoemaker, 
' get you into this sack, and let me out.' 

Then the swineherd opened the sack and took the 
place of the shoemaker, who went gaily off, driving the 
pigs before him. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE GUNNING SHOEMAKER 161 

AVhen the robbers were rested they came out of the 
church, took up the sack, aucl carried it to the sea, where 
they threw it in, and it sank directly. As the}' came 
back the} T met the shoemaker, and stared at him with 
open mouths. 

4 Oh, if you only knew how many pigs live in the sea,' 
he cried. c And the deeper you go the more there are. I 
have just brought up these, and mean to return for some 
more.' 

' There are still some left there? ' 

' Oh, more than I could count,' replied the shoemaker. 
' I will show you what you must do.' Then he led the 
robbers back to the shore. c Now,' said he, c you must 
each of you tie a stone to your necks, so that 3 t ou may be 
sure to go deep enough, for I found the pigs that you saw 
very deep down indeed.' 

Then the robbers all tied stones round their necks, 
and jumped in, and were drowned, and Master Joseph 
drove his pigs home, and was a rich man to the end of 
his days. 



11 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



162 



THE KING WHO WOULD HAVE A 
BEAUTIFUL WIFE. 1 

Fifty years ago there lived a king who was very anxious 
to get married ; but, as he was quite determined that his 
wife should be as beautiful as the sun, the thing was not 
so easy as it seemed, for no maiden came up to his 
standard. Then he commanded a trusty servant to 
search through the length and breadth of the land till he 
found a girl fair enough to be queen, and if he had the 
good luck to discover one he was to bring her back with 
him. 

The servant set out at once on his journey, and 
sought high and low — in castles and cottages ; but though 
pretty maidens were plentiful as blackberries, he felt sure 
that none of them would please the king. 

One day he had wandered far and wide, and was 
feeling very tired and thirsty. By the roadside stood a 
tiny little house, and here he knocked and asked for a 
cup of water. Now in this house dwelt two sisters, and 
one was eighty and the other ninety years old. They 
were very poor, and earned their living by spinning. 
This had kept their hands very soft and white, like the 
hands of a girl, and when the water was passed through 
the lattice, and the servant saw the small, delicate 
fingers, he said to himself : ' A maiden must indeed be 
lovely if she has a hand like that.' And he made haste 
back, and told the king. 

1 Sicilianiache Mahrchen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE KING'S BEAUTIFUL WIFE 163 

' Go back at once/ said his majesty, w and try to get a 
sight of her. 5 

The faithful servant departed on his errand without 
losing any time, and again he knocked at the door of the 
little house and begged for some water. As before, the 
old woman did not open the door, but passed the water 
through the lattice. 

4 Do you live here alone? ' asked the man. 

' No/ replied she, 4 my sister lives with me. We are 
poor girls, and have to work for our bread.' 

c How old are you? ' 

4 1 am fifteen, and she is twenty.' 

Then the servant went back to the king, and told him 
all he knew. And his majesty answered: 4 I will have 
the fifteen-year-old one. Go and bring her here.' 

The servant returned a third time to the little house, 
and knocked at the door. In reply to his knock the 
lattice window was pushed open, and a voice inquired 
what it was he wanted. 

w The king has desired me to bring back the youngest 
of you to become his queen,' he replied. 

4 Tell his majesty I am ready to do his bidding, but 
since my birth no ray of light has fallen upon my face. 
If it should ever do so I shall instantly grow black. 
Therefore beg, I pray you, his most gracious majesty to 
send this evening a shut carriage, and I will return in it 
to the castle.' 

When the king heard this he ordered his great 
golden "carriage to be prepared, and in it to be placed 
some magnificent robes ; and the old woman wrapped 
herself in a thick veil, and was driven to the castle. 

The king was eagerly awaiting her, and when she 
arrived he begged her politely to raise her veil and let 
him see her face. 

But she answered : 4 Here the tapers are too bright 
and the light too strong. Would you have me turn black 
under your very eyes ? ' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



164 THE KING'S BEAUTIFUL WIFE 

And the king believed her words, and the marriage 
took place without the veil being once lifted. After- 
wards, when they were alone, he raised the corner, and 
knew for the first time that he had wedded a wrinkled 
old woman. And, in a furious burst of anger, he dashed 
open the window and flung her out. But, luckily for her, 
her clothes caught on a nail in the wall, and kept her 
hanging between heaven and earth. 

While she was thus suspended, expecting every 
moment to be dashed to the ground, four fairies happened 
to pass by. 

4 Look, sisters,' cried one, ' surely that is the old 
woman that the king sent for. Shall we wish that her 
clothes may give way, and that she should be dashed to 
the ground ? ' 

' Oh, no ! no ! ' exclaimed another. c Let us wish her 
something good. I myself will wish her youth.' 

4 And I beauty." 

4 And I wisdom.* 

4 And I a tender heart.' 

So spake the fairies, and went their way, leaving the 
most beautiful maiden in the world behind them. 

The next morning when the king looked from his 
window he saw this lovely creature hanging on the nail. 
'Ah! what have I done? Surely I must have been 
blind last night ! ' 

And he ordered long ladders to be brought and the 
maiden to be rescued. Then he fell on his knees before 
her, and prayed her to forgive him, and a great feast was 
made in her honour. 

Some days after came the ninety-year-old sister to 
the palace and asked for the queen. 

4 AVho is that hideous old witch? ' said the king. 

* Oh, an old neighbour of mine, who is half silly/ she 
replied. 

But the old woman looked at her steadily, and knew 
her again, and said : ' How have you managed to grow 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



166 THE KING'S BEAUTIFUL WIFE 

so young and beautiful ? I should like to be young and 
beautiful too/ 

This question she repeated the whole day long, till at 
length the queen lost patience and said : w I had my old 
head cut off, and this new head grew in its place.' 

Then the old woman went to a barber, and spoke to 
him, saying, ' I will give you all you ask if you will only 
cut off my head, so that I may become young and lovely.' 

' But, my good woman, if I do that } T ou will die ! ' 

But the old woman would listen to nothing; and at 
last the barber took out his knife and struck the first 
blow at her neck. 

4 Ah ! ' she shrieked as she felt the pain. 

4 II faut souffrir pour etre belle,' said the barber, who 
had been in France. 

And at the second blow her head rolled off, and the 
old woman was dead for good and all. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



167 



CATHERINE AND HER DESTINY 1 



Long ago there lived a rich merchant who, besides pos- 
sessing more treasures than any king in the world, had in 
his great hall three chairs, one of silver, one of gold, and 
one of diamonds. But his great treasure of all was 
his only daughter, who was called Catherine. 

One day Catherine was sitting in her own room when 
suddenly the door flew open, and in came a tall and 
beautiful woman holding in her hands a little wheel. 

' Catherine/ she said, going up to the girl, ; which 
would you rather have — a happy youth or a happy old 
age?' 

Catherine was so taken by surprise that she did not 
know what to answer, and the lady repeated again, 
' Which would you rather have — a happy youth or a 
happy old age ? ' 

Then Catherine thought to herself, i If I say a happy 
youth, then I shall have to suffer all the rest of my life. 
No, I would bear trouble now, and have something better 
to look forward to.' So she looked up and replied, 
' Give me a happy old age.' 

s So be it,' said the lady, and turned her wheel as 
she spoke, vanishing the next moment as suddenly as 
she had come. 

Now this beautiful lady was the Destiny of poor 
Catherine. 

1 Sicilianische Mahrchen, von Laura Gonzenbach. Leipzig, 
EngelmaiiD, 1870. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



1GS CATHERINE AND HER DESTINY 

Only a few days after this the merchant heard the 
news that all his finest ships, laden with the richest mer- 
chandise, had been sunk in a storm, and he was left a 
beggar. The shock was too much for him. lie took to 
his bed, and in a short time he was dead of his dis- 
appointment. 

So poor Catherine was left alone in the world without 
a penny or a creature to help her. But she was a brave 
girl and full of spirit, and soon made up her mind that 
the best thing she could do was to go to the nearest town 
and become a servant. She lost no time in getting herself 
ready, and did not take long over her journey ; and as she 
was passing down the chief street of the town a noble 
lady saw her out of the window, and, struck by her sad 
face, said to her: ' Where are you going all alone, my 
pretty girl ? ' 

'Ah, my lady, I am very poor, and must go to service 
to earn my bread.' 

'I Avill take you into my service,' said she; and 
Catherine served her well. 

Some time after her mistress said to Catherine, ' T am 
obliged to go out for a long while, and must lock the 
house door, so that no thieves shall get in.' 

So she went away, and Catherine took her work and 
sat down at the window. Suddenly the door burst open, 
and in came her Destiny. 

4 Oh ! so here you are, Catherine ! Did you really 
think I was going to leave you in peace?' And as she 
spoke she walked to the linen press where Catherine's 
mistress kept all her finest sheets and underclothes, tore 
everything in pieces, and flung them on the floor. Poor 
Catherine wrung her hands and wept, for she thought to 
herself, ' When my lady comes back and sees all this ruin 
she will think it is my fault,' and, starting up, she fled 
through the open door. Then Destiny took all the pieces 
and made them whole again, and put them back in the 
press, and when everything was tidy she left the house. 
Digitized by Microsoft ® 







Digitized by Microsoft ® 



170 CATHERINE AXE HER DESTIXY 

When the mistress reached home she called Catherine, 
but no Catherine was there. i Can she have robbed me? ' 
thought the old lady, and looked hastily round the house ; 
but nothing was missing. She wondered why Catherine 
should have disappeared like this, but she heard no more 
of her, and in a few days she filled her place. 

Meanwhile Catherine wandered on and on, without 
knowing very well where she was going, till at last she 
came to another town. Just as before, a noble lady 
happened to see her passing her window, and called out 
to her, ' Where are you going all alone, my pretty girl?' 

And Catherine answered, * Ah, my lady, I am very 
poor, and must go to service to earn my bread/ 

'I will take you into my service,' said the lady; and 
Catherine served her well, and hoped she might now 
be left in peace. But, exactly as before, one day that 
Catherine was left in the house alone her Destiny came 
again and spoke to her with hard words : ' What ! are 
you here now?' And in a passion she tore up every- 
thing she saw, till in sheer misery poor Catherine rushed 
out of the house. And so it befell for seven years, and 
directly Catherine found a fresh place her Destiny came 
and forced her to leave it. 

After seven years, however, Destiny seemed to get 
tired of persecuting her, and a time of peace set in for 
Catherine. When she had been chased away from her 
last house by Destiny's wicked pranks she had taken 
service with another lady, who told her that it would be 
part of her daily work to walk to a mountain that over- 
shadowed the town, and, climbing up to the top. she 
was to lay on the ground some loaves of freshly baked 
bread, and cry with aloud voice, k Destiny, my mistress,' 
three times. Then her lady's Destiny would come and 
take away the offering. ; That will I gladly do,' said 
Catherine. 

So the years went by, and Catherine was still there, 
and every day she climbed the mountain with her basket 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



CATHERINE AXD HER DESTIXF 171 

of bread on her arm. She was happier than she had been, 
but sometimes, when no one saw her, she would weep as she 
thought over her old life, and how different it was to the 
one she was now leading. One day her lady saw her, and 
said, i Catherine, what is it? Why are you always weep- 
ing? ' And then Catherine told her story. 

w I have got an idea,' exclaimed the lady. ' To-morrow, 
when you take the bread to the mountain, you shall pray 
my Destiny to speak to yours, and entreat her to leave 
you in peace. Perhaps something may come of it ! ' 

At these words Catherine dried her eyes, and next 
morning, when she climbed the mountain, she told all she 
had suffered, and cried, w Destiny, my mistress, pray, I 
entreat you. of my Destiny that she may leave me in 
peace.' 

And Destiny answered, k Oh, my poor girl, know you 
not your Destiny lies buried under seven coverlids, and 
can hear nothing? But if you will come to-morrow 1 
will bring her with me.' 

And after Catherine had gone her way, her lady's 
Destiny went to find her sister, and said to her, * Dear 
sister, has not Catherine suffered enough ? It is surely 
time for her good days to begin? ' 

And the sister answered, k To-morrow you shall bring 
her to me, and I will give her something that may help 
her out of her need.' 

The next morning Catherine set out earlier than usual 
for the mountain, and her lady's Destiny took the girl by 
the hand and led her to her sister, who lay under the 
seven coverlids. And her Destiny held out to Catherine 
a ball of silk, saying, k Keep this — it may be useful some 
day;' then pulled the coverings over her head again. 

But Catherine walked sadly down the hill, and went 
straight to her lady and showed her the silken ball, which 
was the end of all her high hopes. 

; What shall I do with it?' she asked. ' It is not 
worth sixpence, and it is no good to me!' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



172 CATHERINE AND HER DESTINY 

'Take care of it,' replied her mistress. ' VTho can tell 
how useful it may be ? ' 

A little while after this grand preparations were made 
for the king's marriage, and all the tailors in the town 
were busy embroidering fine clothes. The wedding 
garment was so beautiful nothing like it had ever been 
seen before, but when it was almost finished the tailor 
found that he had no more silk. The colour was very 
rare, and none could be found like it, and the king made 
a proclamation that if anyone happened to possess any 
they should bring it to the court, and he would give them 
a large sum. 

4 Catherine ! ' exclaimed the lady, who had been to 
the tailors and seen the wedding garment, ' your ball of 
silk is exactly the right colour. Bring it to the king, and 
you can ask what you like for it.' 

Then Catherine put on her best clothes and went to the 
court, and looked more beautiful than any woman there. 

' May it please your majesty,' she said, ' I have brought 
you a ball of silk of the colour you asked for, as no one 
else has any in the town.' 

c Your majesty,' asked one of the courtiers, ' shall I 
give the maiden its weight in gold?' 

The king agreed, and a pair of scales were brought ; and 
a handful of gold was placed in one scale and the silken 
ball in the other. But lo ! let the king lay in the scales 
as many gold pieces as he would, the silk was always 
heavier still. Then the king took some larger scales, and 
heaped up all his treasures on the one side, but the silk 
on the other outweighed them all. At last there was only 
one thing left that had not been put in, and that was his 
golden crown. And he took it from his head and set it 
on top of all, and at last the scale moved and the ball had 
found its balance. 

4 Where got you this silk?' asked the king. 

c It was given me, royal majesty, by my mistress, 5 
replied Catherine. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



CATHERINE AND HER DESTINY 



173 



' That is not true,' said the king, ' and if you do not tell 
tne the truth I will have your head cut off this instant.' 

So Catherine told him the whole story, and how she 
had once been as rich as he. 

Now there lived at the court a wise woman, and she 
said t) Catherine, ' You have suffered much, my poor 
girl, but at length your luck has turned, and I know by 




the weighing of the scales through the crown that you 
will die a queen.' 

c So she shall,' cried the king, who overheard these 
words ; ' she shall die my queen, for she is more beautiful 
than all the ladies of the court, and 1 will marry no one else.' 

And so it fell out. The king sent back the bride he 
had promised to wed to her own country, and the same 
Catherine was queen at the marriage feast instead, and 
lived happy and contented to the end of her life. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



174 



HOW THE HERMIT HELPED TO WIN 
THE KING'S DAUGHTERS 

Long ago there lived a very rich man who bad three 
sons. When he felt himself to be dying he divided his 
property between them, making them share alike, both in 
money and lands. Soon after he died the king set forth 
a proclamation through the whole country that whoever 
could build a ship that should float both on land and sea 
should have his daughter to wife. 

The eldest brother, when he heard it, said to the other, 
1 1 think I will spend some of my money in trying to 
build that ship, as I should like to have the king for my 
father-in-law.' So he called together all the shipbuilders 
in the land, and gave them orders to begin the ship with- 
out delay. And trees were cut down, and great prepara- 
tions made, and in a few days everybody knew what it 
was all for ; and there was a crowd of old people pressing 
round the gates of the yard, where the young man spent 
the most of his day. 

4 Ah, master, give us work,' they said, £ so that we may 
earn our bread.' 

But he only gave them hard words, and spoke roughly 
to them. 4 You are old, and have lost your strength; of 
what use are you?' And he drove them away. Then 
came some boys and prayed him, ' Master, give us work,' 
but he answered them, 4 Of what use can you be, weak- 
lings as you are ! Get you gone ! ' And if any presented 

1 Sicilianische Mdhrchen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER 175 

themselves that were not skilled workmen he would 
have none of them. 

At last there knocked at the gate a little old man with 
a long white beard, and said, k Will you give me work, so 
that I may earn my bread ? ' But he was only driven 
away like the rest. 

The ship took a long while to build, and cost a great 
deal of money, and when it was launched a sudden 
squall rose, and it fell to pieces, and with it all the young 
man's hopes of winning the princess. By this time he 
had not a penny left, so he went back to his two brothers 
and told his tale. And the second brother said to himself 
as he listened, c Certainly he has managed very badly, 
but I should like to see if I can't do better, and win the 
princess for my own self.' So he called together, all the 
shipbuilders throughout the country, and gave them orders 
to build a ship which should float on the land as well 
as on the sea. But his heart was no softer than his 
brother's, and every man that was not a skilled workman 
was chased away with hard words. Last came the white- 
ben rded man, but he fared no better than the rest. 

When the ship was finished the launch took place, 
and everything seemed going smoothly when a gale 
sprang up, and the vessel was dashed to pieces on the 
rocks. The young man had spent his whole fortune on 
it, and now it was all swallowed up, was forced to beg 
shelter from his youngest brother. When he told his 
story the youngest said to himself, c I am not rich 
enough to support us all three. I had better take my 
turn, and if I manage to win the princess there will be 
her fortuue as well as my own for us to live on/ So he 
called together all the shipbuilders in the kingdom, and 
gave orders that a new ship should be built. Then all the 
old people came and asked for work, and he answered 
cheerfully, ' Oh, yes, there is plenty for everybody ; ' and 
when the boys begged to be allowed to help he found 
something that they could do. And when the old man 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



176 THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER 

with the long white beard stood before him, praying that 
he might earn his bread, he replied, ' Oh, father, I could 
not suffer you to work, but you shall be overseer, and 
look after the rest.' 

Now the old man was a holy hermit, and when he 
saw how kind-hearted the youth was he determined to 
do all he could for him to gain the wish of his heart. 

By-and-bye, when the ship was finished, the hermit 
said to his young friend, w Now you can go and claim the 
king's daughter, for the ship will float both by land and 
sea.' 

' Oh, good father,' cried the young man, ' you will not 
forsake me? Stay with me, I pray you, and lead me to 
the king ! ' 

'If you wish it, I will,' said the hermit, ' on condition 
that you will give me half of anything you get.' 

' Oh, if that is all,' answered he, l it is easily promised! ' 
And they set out together on the ship. 

After they had gone some distance they saw a man 
standing in a thick fog, which he was trying to put into 
a sack. 

1 Oh, good father,' exclaimed the youth, c what can 
he be doing ? ' 

4 Ask him,' said the old man. 

1 What are you doing, .my fine fellow? ' 

' T am putting the fog into my sack. That is my 
business.' 

' Ask him if he will come with us,' whispered the 
hermit. 

And the man answered : ' If you will give me enough 
to eat and drink I will gladly stay with you.' 

So they took him on their ship, and the youth said, as 
they started off again, ' Good father, before we were two ? 
and now we are three ! ' 

After they had travelled a little further they met a 
man who had torn up half the forest, and was carrying 
all the trees on his shoulders. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




HOW THEY MET THE ARCHER IN THE STREAM. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



178 THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER 

4 Good father/ exclaimed the youth, 'only look! 
What can he have done that for?' 

' Ask him why he has torn up all those trees.' 

And the man replied, ' Why, 1 've merely been 
gathering a handful of brushwood.' 

4 Beg him to come with us,' whispered the hermit. 

And the strong man answered : ' Willingly, as long as 
you give me enough to eat and drink.' And he came on 
the ship. 

And the youth said to the hermit, ' Good father, before 
we were three, and now we are four.' 

The ship travelled on again, and some miles further 
on they saw a man drinking out of a stream till he had 
nearly drunk it dry. 

4 Good father,' said the youth, ' just look at that man ! 
Did you ever see anybody drink like that? ' 

' Ask him why he does it,' answered the hermit. 

' Why, there is nothing very odd in taking a mouthful 
of w T ater! ' replied the man, standing up. 

4 Beg him to come with us.' And the youth did so. 

' With pleasure, as long as you give me enough to eat 
and drink.' 

And the youth whispered to the hermit, ' Good father, 
before we were four, and now we are five.' 

A little way along they noticed another man in the 
middle of a stream, who was shooting into the water. 

' Good father,' said the youth, ' what can he be 
shooting at? ' 

6 Ask him,' answered the hermit. 

c Hush, hush ! ' cried the man ; ' now } T ou have 
frightened it away. In the Underworld sits a quail on a 
tree, and I wanted to shoot it. That is my business. I 
hit everything I aim at.' 

4 Ask him if he will come with us.' 

And the man replied, ; With all my heart, as long as 
I get enough to eat and drink.' 

So they took him into the ship, and the young man 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER 179 

whispered, ' Good father, before we were five, and now 
we are six.' 

Off they went again, and before they had gone far 
they met a man striding towards them whose steps were 
so long that while one foot was on the north of the 
island the other was right down in the south. 

' Good father, look at him ! What long steps he takes! ' 

'Ask him why he does it,' replied the hermit. 

4 Oh, I am only going out for a little walk,' 
answered he. 

' Ask him if he will come with us.' 

' Gladly, if you will give me as much as I want to eat 
and drink,' said he, climbing up into the ship. 

And the young man whispered, 4 Good father, before 
we were six, and now we are seven.' But the hermit 
knew what he was about, and why he gathered these 
strange people into the ship. 

After man} T days, at last they reached the town where 
lived the king and his daughter. They stopped the 
vessel right in front of the palace, and the young man 
went in and bowed low before the king. 

i Majesty. I have done your bidding, and now is 
the ship built that can travel over land and sea. Give me 
my reward, and let me have your daughter to wife.' 

But the king said to himself, k What ! am T to wed 
my daughter to a man of whom I know nothing? Not 
even whether he be rich or poor — a knight or a beggar.' 

And aloud he spake : "It is not enough that you 
have managed to build the ship. You must find a runner 
who shall take this letter to the ruler of the Underworld, 
and bring me the answer back in an hour.' 

' That is not in the bond,' answered the young man. 

4 Well, do as you like,' replied the king, ' only you 
will not get my daughter.' 

The young man went out, sorely troubled, to tell his 
old friend what had happened. 

' Silly boy ! * cried the hermit. ' Accept his terms at 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



180 THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER 

once. And send off the long-legged man with the letter. 
He will take it in no time at all/ 

So the youth's heart leapt for joy, and he returned to 
the king. c Majesty, I accept your terms. Here is the 
messenger who will do what you wish.' 

The king had no choice but to give the man the 
letter, and he strode off, making short work of the 
distance that lay between the palace and the Underworld. 
He soon found the ruler, who looked at the letter, and 
said to him, ; Wait a little while I write the answer; ' and 
the man was so tired with his quick walk that he went 
sound asleep, and forgot all about his errand. 

All this time the youth was anxiously counting the 
minutes till he could get back, and stood with his eyes 
fixed on the road down which his messenger must come. 

' AVhat can be keeping him?' he said to the hermit 
when the hour was nearly up. 

Then the hermit sent for the man who could hit every 
thing he aimed at, and said to him, 'Just see why the 
messenger stays so long.' 

4 Oh, he is sound asleep in the palace of the Under- 
world. However, I can soon wake him.' 

Then he drew his bow, and shot an arrow straight 
into the man's knee. The messenger awoke with a start, 
and when he saw that the hour had almost run out he 
snatched up the answer and rushed back with such 
speed that the clock had not yet struck when he entered 
the palace. 

Now the young man thought he was sure of his 
bride, but the king said, c Still you have not done enough. 
Before I give you my daughter you must find a man 
who can drink half the contents of my cellar in one day.' 

' That is not in the bond,' complained the poor youth. 

' Well, do as you like, only you will not get my 
daughter.' 

The young man went sadly out, and asked the hermit 
what he was to do. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER 181 

8 Silly boy 1 ' said he, i Why, tell the man to do it 
who drinks up everything.' 

So they sent for the man and said, ' Do you think you 
are able to drink half the royal cellar in one day? ' 

4 Dear me, yes, and as much more as you want,' 
answered he. ' I am never satisfied.' 

The king was not pleased at the young man agreeing 
so readily, but he had no choice, and ordered the servant 
to be taken downstairs. Oh, how he enjoyed himself ! 
All day long he drank, and drank, and drank, till, instead 
of half the cellar, he had drunk the whole, and there was 
not a cask but what stood empty. And when the king 
saw this he said to the youth, ' You have conquered, and 
I can no longer withhold my daughter. But, as her 
dowry, I shall give only so much as one man can carry 
away.' 

4 But,' answered he, 4 let a man be ever so strong, he 
cannot carry more than a hundredweight, and what is 
that for a king's daughter?' 

4 Well, do as you like ; I have said my say. It is 
your affair — not mine.' 

The young man was puzzled, and did not know what 
to reply, for, though he would gladly have married the 
princess without a sixpence, he had spent all his money 
in building the ship, and knew he could not give her all 
she wanted. So he went to the hermit and said to him, 
' The king will only give for her dowry as much as a 
man can carry. I have no money of my own left, and 
my brothers have none either.' 

4 Silly boy ! Why, you have only got to fetch the man 
who carried half the forest on his shoulders.' 

And the youth was glad, and called the strong man, 
and told him what he must do. 4 Take everything you 
can, till you are bent double. Never mind if you leave 
the palace bare.' 

The strong man promised, and nobly kept his word. 
He piled all he could see on his back — chairs, tables, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



182 THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER 

wardrobes, chests of gold and silver — till there was 
nothing left to pile. At last he took the king's crown, 
and put it on the top. He carried his burden to the 
ship and stowed his treasures away, and the youth 
followed, leading the king's daughter. But the king was 
left, raging in his empty palace, and he called together 
his army, and got ready his ships of war, in order that he 




might go after the vessel and bring back what had been 
taken away. 

And the king's ships sailed very fast, and soon caught 
up the little vessel, and the sailors all shouted for joy. 
Then the hermit looked out and saw how near they were, 
and he said to the youth, 4 Do you see that? ' 

The youth shrieked and cried, < Ah, good father, it is 
a fleet of ships, and they are chasing us, and in a few 
moments they will be upon us.' 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE HERMIT AXD KING'S DAUGHTER 183 

But the hermit bade him call the man who had the 
fog in his sack, and the sack was opened and the fog 
flew out, and hung right round the king's ships, so that 
they could see nothing. So they sailed back to the 
palace, and told the king what strange things had 
happened. Meanwhile the young man's vessel reached 
home in safety. 

4 Well, here you are once more,' said the hermit ; ' and 
now you can fulfil the promise you made me to give me 
the half of all you had.' 

4 That will I do with all my heart,' answered the 
youth, and began to divide all his treasures, putting part 
on one side for himself and setting aside the other for 
his friend. ' Good father, it is finished,' said he at length ; 
4 there is nothing more left to divide.' 

4 Nothing more left!' cried the hermit. 'Why, you 
have forgotten the best thing of all !' 

4 What can that be?' asked he. 4 We have divided 
everything.' 

4 And the king's daughter?' said the hermit. 

Then the young man's heart stood still, for he loved 
her dearly. But he answered, 4 Tt is well ; I have 
sworn, and I will keep my word,' and drew his sword to 
cut her in pieces. When the hermit saw that he held 
his honour dearer than his wife he lifted his hand and 
cried 4 Hold ! she is yours, and all the treasures too. I 
gave you my help because you had pity on those that 
were in need. And when you are in need yourself, call 
upon me, and I will come to you.' 

As he spoke he softly touched their heads and 
vanished. 

The next day the wedding took place, and the two 
brothers came to the house, and they all lived happily 
together, but they never forgot the holy man who had 
been such a good friend. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



184: 



THE WATER OF LIFE. 1 

Three brothers and one sister lived together in a small 
cottage, and they loved one another dearly. One day the 
eldest brother, who had never done anything but amuse 
himself from sunrise to sunset, said to the rest, 4 Let us 
all work hard, and perhaps we shall grow rich, and be 
able to build ourselves a palace.' 

And his brothers and sister answered joyfully, ' Yes, 
we will all work ! ' 

So they fell to working with all their might, till at last 
they became rich, and were able to build themselves a 
beautiful palace; and everyone came from miles round 
to see its wonders, and to say how splendid it was. No 
one thought of finding any faults, till at length an old 
woman, who had been walking through the rooms with a 
crowd of people, suddenly exclaimed, ' Yes, it is a 
splendid palace, but there is still something it needs ! ' 

' And what may that be ? ' 

4 A church.' 

When they heard this the brothers set to work again 
to earn some more money, and when they had got 
enough they set about building a church, which should 
be as large and beautiful as the palace itself. 

And after the church was finished greater numbers 
of people than ever flocked to see the palace and the 
church and vast gardens and magnificent halls. 

1 Cuentos Populars Catalans, per lo Dr. D. Francisco de S. 
Maepous y Labros. Barcelona, 1885. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE WATER OF LIFE 185 

But one clay, as the brothers were as usual doing the 
honours to their guests, an old man turned to them and 
said, c Yes, it is all most beautiful, but there is still 
something it needs.' 

' And what may that be? ' 

c A pitcher of the water of life, a branch of the tree 
the smell of whose flowers gives eternal beauty, and the 
talking bird.' 

1 And where am I to find all those? ' 

c Go to the mountain that is far off yonder, and you 
will find what you seek/ 

After the old man had bowed politely and taken 
farewell of them the eldest brother said to the rest, c I 
will go in search of the water of life, and the talking 
bird, and the tree of beauty.' 

* But suppose some evil thing befalls you ? J asked his 
sister. c How shall we know ? ' 

'You are right,' he replied; 'I had not thought of 
that ! ' 

Then they followed the old man, and said to him, 
i My eldest brother wishes to seek for the water of life, 
and the tree of beauty, and the talking bird, that you tell 
him are needful to make our palace perfect. But how 
shall we know if any evil thing befall him?' 

So the old man took them a knife, and gave it to 
them, saying, L Keep this carefully, and as long as the 
blade is bright all is well ; but if the blade is bloody, 
then know that evil has befallen him.' 

The brothers thanked him, and departed, and went 
straight to the palace, where they found the young man 
making ready to set out for the mountain where the 
treasures he longed for lay hid. 

And he walked, and he walked, and he walked, till he 
had gone a great way, and there he met a giant. 

4 Can you tell me how much further i have still to go 
before I reach that mountain yonder? ' 

4 And why do you wish to go there? ' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



186 THE WATER OF LIFE 

i I am seeking the water of life, the talking bird, and 
a branch of the tree of beauty.' 

' Many have passed by seeking those treasures, but 
none have ever come back; and you will never come 
back either, unless you mark ury words. Follow this 
path, and when you reach the mountain you will find it 
covered with stones. Do not stop to look at them, but 
keep on your way. As you go you will hear scoffs and 
laughs behind you ; and it will be the stones that mock. Do 
not heed them; above all, do not turn round. If you do 
you will become as one of them. Walk straight on till 
you get to the top, and then take all you wish for.' 

The young man thanked him for his counsel, and 
walked, and walked, and walked, till he reached the 
mountain. And as he climbed he heard behind him 
scoffs and jeers, but he kept his ears steadily closed to 
them. At last the noise grew so loud that he lost 
patience, and he stooped to pick up a stone to hurl into 
the midst of the clamour, when suddenly his arm seemed 
to stiffen, and the next moment he was a stone himself ! 

That day his sister, who thought her brother's steps 
were long in returning, took out the knife and found the 
blade was red as blood. Then she cried out to her 
brothers that something terrible had come to pass. 

4 I will go and find him,' said the second. And he 
went. 

And he walked, and he walked, and he walked, till he 
met the giant, and asked him if he had seen a 3 7 oung 
man travelling towards the mountain. 

And the giant answered, ' Yes, I have seen him pass, 
but I have not seen him come back. The spell must 
have worked upon him.' 

i Then what can I do to disenchant him, and find the 
water of life, the talking bird, and a branch of the tree 
of beauty?' 

' Follow this path, and when you reach the mountain 
you will find it covered with stones. Do not stop to look 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE WATER OF LIFE 187 

at them, but climb steadily on. Above all, heed not the 
laughs and scoffs that will arise on all sides, and never 
turn round. And when you reach the top you can then 
take all you desire.' 

The young man thanked him for his counsel, and set 
out for the mountain. But no sooner did he reach it 
than loud jests and gibes broke out on every side, and 
almost deafened him. For some time he let them rail, 
and pushed boldly on, till he had passed the place which 
his brother had gained; then suddenly he thought that 
among the scoffing sounds he heard his brother's voice. 
He stopped and looked back ; and another stone was 
added to the number. 

Meanwhile the sister left at home was counting the 
days when her two brothers should return to her. The 
time seemed long, and it would be hard to say how often 
she took out the knife and looked at its polished blade 
to make sure that this one at least was still safe. The 
blade was always bright and clear ; each time she looked 
she had the happiness of knowing that all was well, till 
one evening, tired and anxious, as she frequently w T as 
at the end of the day, she took it from its drawer, and 
behold ! the blade was red with blood. Her cry of horror 
brought her youngest brother to her, and, unable to speak, 
she held out the knife ! 

4 I will go,' he said. 

So he walked, and he walked, and he walked, until he 
met the giant, and he asked, l Have two young men, 
making for yonder mountain, passed this way?' 

And the giant answered, ' Yes, they have passed by, 
but they never came back, and by this I know that the 
spell has fallen upon them.' 

fc Then what must I do to free them, and to get the 
water of lift*, and the talking bird, and the branch of the 
tree of beauty? ' 

4 Go to the mountain, which you will find so thickly 
covered with stones that you will hardly be able to place 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



188 THE WATER OF LIFE 

your feet, and walk straight forward, turning neither to 
the right hand nor to the left, and paying no heed to the 
laughs and scoffs which will follow } T ou, till you reach 
the top, and then you may take all that you desire. 5 

The young man thanked the giant for his counsel, 
and set forth to the mountain. And when he began to 
climb there burst forth all around him a storm of scoffs 
and jeers; but he thought of the giant's words, and looked 
neither to the right hand nor to the left, till the mountain 
top lay straight before him. A moment now and he 
would have gained it, when, through the groans and yells, 
he heard his brothers' voices. He turned, and there was 
one stone the more. 

And all this while his sister was pacing up and down 
the palace, hardly letting the knife out of her hand, and 
dreading what she knew she would see, and what she did 
see. The blade grew red before her eyes, and she said, 
; ]S T ow it is my turn.' 

So she walked, and she walked, and she walked till 
she came to the giant, and prayed him to tell her if he 
had seen three young men pass that way seeking the 
distant mountain. 

4 1 have seen them pass, but they have never returned, 
and by this I know that the spell has fallen upon them.' 

1 And what must I do to set them free, and to find the 
water of life, and the talking bird, and a branch of the 
tree of beauty ? ' 

4 You must go to that mountain, which is so full of 
stones that your feet will hardly find a place to tread, and 
as you climb you will hear a noise as if all the stones in 
the world were mocking you ; but pay no heed to any- 
thing you may hear, and, once you gain the top, you have 
gained everything.' 

The girl thanked him for the counsel, and set out for 
the mountain ; and scarcely had she gone a few steps 
upwards when cries and screams broke forth around her, 
and she felt as if each stone she trod on was a living 

Digitized by Microsoft® 



THE WATER OF LIFE 



189 



thing. But she remembered the words of the giant, and 
knew not what had befallen her brothers, and kept her 
face steadily towards the mountain top, which grew 
nearer and nearer every moment. But as she mounted 
the clamour increased sevenfold: high above them all 
rang the voices of her three brothers. But the girl took 
no heed, and at last her feet, stood upon the top. 




Then she looked round, and saw, lying in a hollow, the 
pool of the water of life. And she took the brazen 
pitcher that she had brought with her, and filled it to the 
brim. By the side of the pool stood the tree of beauty, 
with the talking bird on one of its boughs ; and she 
caught the bird, and placed it in a cage, and broke off one 
of the branches. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



190 THE WATER OF LIFE 

After that she turned, and went joyfully down the hill 
again, carrying her treasures, but her long climb had tired 
her out, and the brazen pitcher was very heavy, and as 
she walked a few drops of the water spilt on the stones, 
and as it touched them they changed into young men and 
maidens, crowding about her to give thanks for their 
deliverance. 

So she learnt "b} T this how the evil spell might be 
broken, and she carefully sprinkled every stone till there 
was not one left — only a great company of youths and 
girls who followed her down the mountain. 

When they arrived at the palace she did not lose a 
moment in planting the branch of the tree of beauty and 
watering it with the water of life. And the branch shot 
up into a tree, and was heavy with flowers, and the talk- 
ing bird nestled in its branches. 

Now the fame of these wonders was noised abroad, and 
the people flocked in great numbers to see the three 
marvels, and the maiden who had won them; and among 
the sightseers came the king's son, who would not 
go till everything was shown him, and till he had heard how 
it had all happened. And the prince admired the strange- 
ness and beauty of the treasures in the palace, but more 
than all he admired the beauty and courage of the maiden 
who had brought them there. So he went home and 
told his parents, and gained their consent to wed her for 
his wife. 

Then the marriage was' celebrated in the church adjoin- 
ing the palace. Then the bridegroom took her to his own 
home, where they lived happy for ever after. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



191 



TEE WOUNDED LION l 

There was once a girl so poor that she had nothing to 
live on, and wandered about the world asking for charity. 
One day she arrived at a thatched cottage, and inquired 
if they could give her any work. The farmer said he 
wanted a cowherd, as his own had left him, and if the 
girl liked the place she might take it. So she became a 
cowherd. 

One morning she was driving her cows through the 
meadows when she heard near by a loud groan that 
almost sounded human. She hastened to the spot 
from which the noise came, and found it proceeded from a 
lion who lay stretched upon the ground. 

You can guess how frightened she was! But the 
lion seemed in such pain that she was sorry for him, and 
drew nearer and nearer till she saw he had a large thorn 
in one foot. She pulled out the thorn and bound up the 
place, and the lion was grateful, and licked her hand by 
way of thanks with his big rough tongue. 

When the girl had finished she went back to find the 
cows, but they had gone, and though she hunted every- 
where she never found them; and she had to return home 
and confess to her master, who scolded her bitterly, and 
afterwards beat her. Then he said, ' Now you will have 
to look after the asses.' 

So every day she had to take the asses to the woods 
to feed, until one morning, exactly a year after she had 

1 Cuentos Populars Catalans, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



192 THE WOUNDED LION 

found the lion, she heard a groan which sounded quite 
human. She went straight to the place from which the 
noise came, and, to her great surprise, beheld the same 
lion stretched on the ground with a deep wound across 
his face. 

This time she was not afraid at all, and ran towards 
him, washing the wound and laying soothing herbs upon 
it; and when she had bound it up the lion thanked her 
in the same manner as before. 

After that she returned to her flock, but they were 
nowhere to be seen. She searched here and she searched 
there, but they had vanished completely ! 

Then she had to go home and confess to her master, 
who first scolded her and afterwards beat her. ' Now go,' 
he ended, ' and look after the pigs ! ' 

So the next day she took out the pigs, and found them 
such good feeding grounds that they grew fatter every 
day. 

Another year passed by, and one morning when the 
maiden was out with her pigs she heard a groan which 
sounded quite human. She ran to see what it was, and 
found her old friend the lion, wounded through and through, 
fast dying under a tree. 

She fell on her knees before him and washed his 
wounds one \)y one, and laid healing herbs upon them. 
And the lion licked her hands and thanked her, and asked 
if she would not stay and sit by him. But the girl said 
she had her pigs to watch, and she must go and see after 
them. 

So she ran to the place where she had left them, but 
they had vanished as if the earth had swallowed them up. 
She whistled and called, but only the birds answered 
her. 

Then she sank down on the ground and wept bitterly, 
not daring to return home until some hours had passed 
away. 

And when she had had her cry out she got up and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



194 THE WOUNDED LION 

searched all up and down the wood. But it was no use ; 
there was not a sign of the pigs. 

At last she thought that perhaps if she climbed a tree 
she might see further. But no sooner was she seated on 
the highest branch than something happened which put 
the pigs quite out of her head. This was a handsome 
young man who was coming down the path ; and when 
he had almost reached the tree he pulled aside a rock and 
disappeared behind it. 

The maiden rubbed her eyes and wondered if she had 
been dreaming. Next she thought, ' I will not stir from 
here till I see him come out, and discover who he is.' 
Accordingl} T she waited, and at dawn the next morning 
the rock moved to one side and a lion came out. 

AVhen he had gone quite out of sight the girl climbed 
down from the tree and went to the rock, which she pushed 
aside, and entered the opening before her. The path led 
to a beautiful house. She went in, swept and dusted the 
furniture, and put everything tidy. Then she ate a very 
good dinner, which was on a shelf in the corner, and once 
more clambered up to the top of her tree. 

As the sun set she saw the same young man walking 
gaily down the path, and, as before, he pushed aside the 
rock and disappeared behind it. 

Next morning out came the lion. He looked sharply 
about him on all sides, but saw no one, and then 
vanished into the forest. 

The maiden then came down from the tree and did 
exactly as she had done the day before. Thus three 
days went by, and every day she went and tidied up 
the palace. At length, when the girl found she was no 
nearer to discovering the secret, she resolved to ask 
him, and in the evening when she caught sight of him 
coming through the wood she came down from the tree 
and begged him to tell her his name. 

The young man looked very pleased to see her, and 
said he thought it must be she who had secretly kept 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE WOUNDED LION 195 

his house for so many days. And lie added that he was 
a prince enchanted by a powerful giant, but was only 
allowed to take his own shape at night, for all day he was 
forced to appear as the lion whom she had so often helped ; 
and, more than this, it was the giant who had stolen the 
oxen and the asses and the pigs in revenge for her 
kindness. 

And the girl asked him, ; What can I do to disenchant 
you ? ' 

But he said he was afraid it was very difficult, because 
the only way was to get a lock of hair from the head of a 
king's daughter, to spin it, and to make from it a cloak 
for the giant, who lived up on the top of a high mountain. 

4 Very well/ answered the girl, c I will go to the city, 
and knock at the door of the king's palace, and ask 
the princess to take me as a servant.' 

So they parted, and when she arrived at the city she 
walked about the streets crying, ' Who will hire me for a 
servant? Who will hire me for a servant? ' But, though 
many people liked her looks, for she was clean and neat, 
the maiden would listen to none, and still continued 
crying, ' Who will hire me for a servant? Who will hire 
me for a servant ? ' 

At last there came the waiting-maid of the princess. 

' What can you do? ' she said ; and the girl was forced 
to confess that she could do very little. 

4 Then you will have to do scullion's work, and wash 
up dishes/ said she; and they went straight back to tfie 
palace. 

Then the maiden dressed her hair afresh, and made 
herself look very neat and smart, and everyone admired 
and praised her, till by-and-bye it came to the ears of the 
princess. And she sent for the girl, and when she saw 
her, and how beautifully she had dressed her hair, the 
princess told her she was to come and comb out hers. 

Now the hair of the princess was very thick and 
long, and shone like the sun. And the girl combed it and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



196 THE WOUNDED LION 

combed it till it was brighter than ever. And the princess 
was p teased, and bade her come every day and comb her 
hair, till at length the girl took courage, and begged leave 
to cut off one of the long, thick locks. 

The princess, who was very proud of her hair, did not 
like the idea of parting with any of it, so she said no. 
But the girl could not give up hope, and each day she 
entreated to be allowed to cut off just one tress. At 
length the princess lost patience, and exclaimed, 4 You 
may have it, then, on condition that you shall find the 
handsomest prince in the world to be my bridegroom!' 

And the girl answered that she would, and cut off the 
lock, and wove it into a coat that glittered like silk, and 
brought it to the young man, who told her to carry it 
straight to the giant. But that she must be careful to 
cry out a long way off what she had with her, or else he 
would spring upon her and run her through with his 
sword. 

So the maiden departed and climbed up the mountain, 
but before she reached the top the giant heard her foot- 
steps, and rushed out breathing fire and flame, having 
a sword in one hand and a club in the other. But she 
cried loudly that she had brought him the coat, and then 
he grew quiet, and invited her to come into his house. 

He tried on the coat, but it was too short, and he 
threw it off, and declared it was no use. And the girl 
picked it up sadly, and returned quite in despair to the 
king's palace. 

The next morning when she was combing the prin- 
cess's hair, she begged leave to cut off another lock. At 
first the princess said no, but the girl begged so hard 
that at length she gave in on condition that she should 
find her a prince as bridegroom. 

The maiden told her that she had already found him, 
and spun the lock into shining stuff, and fastened it on to 
the end of the coat. And when it was finished she 
carried it to the giant. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 






X jZS&l //itiW 'If #* 







I 



THE MAIDEN BRINGS THE COAT OF HAIR TO THE GIANT. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



198 THE WOUNDED LION 

This time it fitted hirn, and be was quite pleased, and 
asked her what he could give her in return. And she 
said that the only reward he could give her was to take 
the spell off the lion and bring him back to his own 
shape. 

For a long time the giant would not hear of it, but in 
the end he gave in, and told her exactly how it must all 
be done. She was to kill the lion herself and cut him up 
very small; then she must burn him, and cast his ashes 
into the water, and out of the water the prince would 
come free from enchantment for ever. 

But the maiden went away weeping, lest the giant 
should have deceived her, and that after she had killed 
the lion she would find she had also slain the prince. 

Weeping she came down the mountain, and weeping 
she joined the prince, who was awaiting her at the 
bottom ; and when he had heard her story he comforted 
her, and bade her be of good courage, and to do the 
bidding of the giant. 

And the maiden believed what the prince told her; and 
in the morning when he put on his lion's form she took a 
knife and slew him, and cut him up very small, and 
burnt him, and cast his ashes into the water, and out of 
the water came the prince, beautiful as the day, and as 
glad to look upon as the sun himself. 

Then the young man thanked the maiden for all she 
had done for him, and said she should be his wife and 
none other. But the maiden only wept sore, and answered 
that that she could never be, for she had given her 
promise to the princess when she cut off her hair that 
the prince should wed her and her only. 

But the prince replied, ' If it is the princess, we must 
go quickly. Come with me.' 

So they went together to the king's palace. And when 
the king and queen and princess saw the young man a 
great joy filled their hearts, for they knew him for the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE WOUNDED LION 199 

eldest son, who had long ago been enchanted by a giant 
and lost to them. 

And he asked his parents' consent that he might 
marry the girl who had saved him, and a great feast 
was made, and the maiden became a princess, and in due 
time a queen, and she richly deserved all the honors 
showered upon her. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



200 



THE MAN WITHOUT A HEART 

Once upon a time there were seven brothers, who were 
orphans, and had no sister. Therefore they were obliged 
to do all their own housework. This they did not like at 
all ; so after much deliberation they decided to get married. 
There were, unfortunately, no young girls to be found in 
the place where they lived ; but the elder brothers agreed 
to go out into the world and seek for brides, promising to 
bring back a very pretty wife for the youngest also if he 
would meanwhile stay at home and take care of the 
house. He consented willingly, and the six young men 
set off in good spirits. 

On their way they came to a small cottage standing 
quite by itself in a wood ; and before the door stood an 
old, old man, who accosted the brothers, saying, < Hullo, 
you young fellows ! Whither away so fast and cheerily? ' 

' We are going to find bonny brides for ourselves, and 
one for our youngest brother at home,' they replied. 

' Oh ! dear youths/ said the old man, 4 I am terribly 
lonely here; pray bring a bride for me also; only re- 
member, she must be young and pretty.' 

4 What does a shrivelled old grey thing like that want 
with a pretty young bride ? ' thought the brothers, and 
went on their way. 

Presently they came to a town where were seven 
sisters, as young and as lovely as anyone could wish. 
Each brother chose one, and the youngest they kept for 
their brother at home. Then the whole party set out on 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



"The n&U teithottt a^HefrVf 




THE $IX BROTHERS AMD THE1K BKLDES 
TURNED INTO ffTONEg SY THE CO IW 



Digitized by Microsoft® 



202 THE MAN WITHOUT A HEART 

the return journey, and again their path led through the 
wood and past the old man's cottage. 

There he stood before the door, and cried : 'Oil! you 
fine fellows, what a charming bride you have brought 
me! ' 

' She is not for you,' said the young men. * She is for 
our youngest brother, as we promised.' 

' What ! ' said the old man ? ' promised ! I '11 make 
you eat your promises ! ' And with that he took his 
magic wand, and, murmuring a charm, he touched both 
brothers and brides, and immediately they were turned 
into grey stones. 

Only the youngest sister he had not bewitched. He 
took her into the cottage, and from that time she was 
obliged to keep house for him. She was not very un- 
happy, but one thought troubled her. What if the old 
man should die and leave her here alone in the solitary 
cottage deep in the heart of the wood! She would be 
as 'terribly lonely' as he had formerly been. 

One day she told him of her fear. 

' Don't be anxious,' he said. ' You need neither fear 
my death nor desire it, for I have no heart in my breast ! 
However, if I should die, you will find my wand above 
the door, and with it you can set free your sisters 
and their lovers. Then you will surely have company 
enough.' 

' Where in all the world do you keep your heart, if 
not in your breast? ' asked the girl. 

'Do you want to know everything?' her husband 
said. ' Well, if you must know, my heart is in the bed- 
cover.' 

When the old man had gone out about his business 
his bride passed her time in embroidering beautiful 
flowers on the bed quilt to make his heart happy. The 
old man was much amused. He laughed, and said to 
her: ' You are a good child, but I was only joking. My 
heart is really in — in ' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE MAX WITHOUT A HEART 203 

' Now where is it, dear husband? ' 

' It is in the doorway,' he replied. 

Next day, while he was out, the girl decorated the 
door with gay feathers and fresh flowers, and hung gar- 
lands upon it. And on his return the old fellow asked 
what it all meant. 

4 I did it to show my love for your heart,' said the girl. 

And again the old man smiled, saying, w You are a 
dear child, but my heart is not in the doorway.' 

Then the poor young bride was very vexed, and 
said, fc Ah, my dear ! you really have a heart somewhere, 
so you may die and leave me all alone.' 

The old man did his best to comfort her by repeating 
all he had said before, but she begged him afresh to tell 
her truly where his heart was, and at last he told her. 

k Far, far from here,' said he, ' in a lonely spot, stands 
a great church, as old as old can be. Its doors are of 
iron, and round it runs a deep moat, spanned by no 
bridge. Within that church is a bird which flies up and 
down ; it never eats, and never drinks, and never dies. 
No one can catch it, and while that bird lives so shall I, 
for in it is my heart.' 

It made the little bride quite sad to think she could 
do nothing to show her love for the old man's heart. 
She used to think about it as she sat all alone during the 
long days, for her husband was almost always out. 

One day a young traveller came past the house, and 
seeing such a pretty girl he wished her ' Good day.' 

She returned his greeting, and as he drew near she 
asked him whence he came and where he was going. 

' Alas ! ' sighed the youth, ' I am very sorrowful. I 
had six brothers, who went away to find brides for them- 
selves and one for me; but they have never come home, 
so now I am going to look for them.' 

i Oh, good friend,' said the girl, c you need go no 
farther. Come, sit down, eat and drink, and afterw r ards 
I '11 tell you all about it/ 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



204 THE MAN WITHOUT A HEART 

She gave him food, and when he had finished his 
meal she told him how his brothers had come to the 
town where she lived with her sisters, how they had 
each chosen a bride, and, taking herself with them, had 
started for home. She wept as she told how the others 
were turned to stone, and how she was kept as the old 
man's bride. She left out nothing, even telling him the 
story of her husband's heart. 

When the young man heard this he said : w I shall go 
in search of the bird. It may be that God will help me 
to find and catch it.' 

< Yes, do go,' she said; w it will be a good deed, for 
then you can set your brothers and my sisters free.' 
Then she hid the young man, for it was now late, and 
her husband would soon be home. 

Next morning, when the old man had gone out, she 
prepared a supply of provisions for her guest, and sent 
him off on his travels, wishing him good luck and 
success. 

He walked on and on till he thought it must be time 
for breakfast ; so he opened his knapsack, and was 
delighted to find such a store of good things. ' What a 
feast ! ' he exclaimed ; ' will anyone come and share it? ' 

'Moo-oo,' sounded close behind him, and looking 
round he saw a great red ox, which said, ' I have much 
pleasure in accepting your kind invitation.' 

'I'm delighted to see you. Pray help yourself. All 
I have is at your service, 7 said the hospitable youth. 
And the ox lay down comfortably, licking his lips, and 
made a hearty meal. 

' Many thanks to you, said the animal as it rose up, 
' When you are in danger or necessity call me, even if 
only by a thought,' and it disappeared among the bushes. 

The young man packed up all the food that was left, 
and wandered on till the shortening shadows and his 
own hunger warned him that it was midday. He laid 
the cloth on the ground and spread out his provisions, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




*" 7 She Griff i a is made OelcOTne^sirC^ 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



208 THE MAX WITHOUT A HEART 

has kept my bride for himself, and that is certainly bad 
enough.' 

So he pinched the bird, and the old man cried, k Ah ! 
I feel death gripping me ! Child, I am dying ! ' 

With these words he fell fainting from his chair, and 
as the youth, before he knew what he was doing, liad 
squeezed the bird to death, the old man died also. 

Out crept the young man from under the bed, and the 
girl took the magic wand (which she found where the 
old man had told her), and, touching the twelve grey 
stones, transformed them at once into the six brothers 
and their brides. 

Then there was great joy, and kissing and embracing. 
And there lay the old man, quite dead, and no magic 
wand could restore him to life, even had they wished it. 

After that they all went away and were married, and 
lived many years happily together. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



m 



THE TWO BROTHERS 1 



Long ago there lived two brothers, both of thera very 
handsome, and both so very poor that they seldom had 
anything to eat bnt the fish which they caught. One day 
they had been out in their boat since sunrise without a 
single bite, and were just thinking of putting up their 
lines and going home to bed when they felt a little feeble 
tug, and, drawing in hastily, they found a tiny fish at the 
end of the hook. 

4 What a wretched little creature ! ' cried one brother. 
4 However, it is better than nothing, and I will bake him 
with bread crumbs and have him for supper.' 

4 Oh, do not kill me yet! ' begged the fish; 4 I will bring 
3 t ou good luck — indeed I will ! ' 

'You silly thing!' said the young man; 'I've caught 
you, and I shall eat you.' 

But his brother was sorry for the fish, and put in a 
word for him. 

4 Let the poor little fellow live, He would hardly 
make one bite, and, after all, how do we know we are not 
throwing away our luck! Put him back into the sea. It 
will be much better.' 

4 If you will let me live,' said the fish, 4 you w\\\ find 
on the sands to-morrow morning two beautiful horses 
splendidly saddled and bridled, and on them you can go 
through the world as knights seeking adventures.' 

1 SicUiamsche Mahrehen. L. Gonzenbach. 
14 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



210 THE TWO BROTHERS 

' Oh dear, what nonsense ! ' exclaimed the elder; ' and, 
besides, what proof have we that you are speaking the 
truth?' 

But again the younger brother interposed : 4 Oh, do 
let him live ! You know if he is lying to us we can always 
catch him again. It is quite worth while trying.' 

At last the young man gave in, and threw the fish back 
into the sea ; and both brothers went supperless to bed, 
and wondered what fortune the next day would bring. 

At the first streaks of dawn they were both up, and in 
a very few minutes were running down to the shore. 
And there, just as the fish had said, btood two mag- 
nificent horses, saddled and bridled, and on their backs 
lay suits of armour and underdresses, two swords, 
and two purses of gold. 

There!' said the younger brother. 4 Are you not 
thankful you did not eat that fish? He has brought us 
good luck, and there is no knowing how great we may 
become ! Now, we will each seek our own adventures. 
If you will take one road I will go the other.' 

'Very well,' replied the elder; 'but how shall we let 
each other know if we are both living? ' 

'Do you see this fig-tree?' said the younger. 'Well, 
whenever we want news of each other we have only to 
come here and make a slit with our swords in the back. 
If milk flows, it is a sign that we are well and prosperous ; 
but if, instead of milk, there is blood, then we are either 
dead or in great danger.' 

Then the two brothers put on their armour; buckled 
their swords, and pocketed their purses ; and, after taking 
a tender farewell of each other, they mounted their horses 
and went their various ways. 

The elder brother rode straight on till he reached the 
borders of a strange kingdom. He crossed the frontier, 
and soon found himself on the banks of a river; and before 
him, in the middle of the stream, a beautiful girl sat chained 
to a rock and weeping bitterly. For in this river dwelt a 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE TWO BROTHERS 211 

serpent with seven beads, who threatened to lay waste 
the whole land by breathing fire and flame from his 
nostrils unless the king sent him every morning a man 
for his breakfast. This had gone on so long that now 
there were*no men left, and he had been obliged to send 
his own daughter instead, and the poor girl was waiting 
till the monster got hungry and felt inclined to eat her. 

When the young man saw the maiden weeping bitterly 
he said to her, i What is the matter, my poor girl?' 

' Oh ! ' she answered, ' I am chained here till a 
horrible serpent with seven heads comes to eat me. Oh, 
sir, do not linger here, or he will eat you too.' 

4 1 shall stay,' replied the young man, i f or I mean to 
set you free/ 

'That is impossible. You do not know what a fearful 
monster the serpent is; you can do nothing against him/ 

' That is my affair, beautiful captive/ answered he ; 
4 only tell me, which way will the serpent come?' 

4 Well, if you are resolved to free me, listen to my 
advice. Stand a little on one side, and then, when the 
serpent rises to the surface, I will say to him, " O serpent, 
to-day you can eat two people. But you had better 
begin first with the young man, for I am chained and 
cannot run away." When he hears this most likely he 
will attack you.' 

So the young man stood carefully on one side, and b} 7 - 
and-bye he heard a great rushing in the water ; and a 
horrible monster came up to the surface and looked out 
for the rock where the king's daughter was chained, for 
it was getting late and he was hungry. 

But she cried out, ' O serpent, to-day you can eat 
two people. And you had better begin with the young 
man, for I am chained and cannot run away.' 

Then the serpent made a rush at the youth with wide- 
open jaws to swallow him at one gulp, but the young 
man leaped aside and drew his sword, and fought till he 
had cut off all the seven heads. And when the great 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



SlS THE TWO BROTHERS 

serpent lay dead at his feet he loosed the bonds of the 
king's daughter, and she flung herself into his arms and 
said, ' You have saved me from that monster, and now 
you shall be my husband, for my father has made a 
proclamation that whoever could slay the serpent should 
have his daughter to wife.' 

But he answered, ' I cannot become your husband 
yet, for I have still far to travel. But wait for me seven 
years and seven months. Then, if I do not return, you 
are free to marry whom } T ou will. And in case you should 
have forgotten, I will take these seven tongues with me, 
so that when I bring them forth you may know that I 
am really he who slew the serpent.' 

So saying he cut out the seven tongues, and the 
princess gave him a thick cloth to wrap them in; and he 
mounted his horse and rode away. 

Not long after he had gone there arrived at the river 
a slave who had been sent by the king to learn the fate 
of his beloved daughter. And when the slave saw the 
princess standing free and safe before him, with the body 
of the monster lying at her feet, a wicked plan came 
into his head, and he said, l Unless you promise to tell 
your father it was T who slew the serpent, I will kill you 
and bury you in this place, and no one will ever know 
what befell.' 

What could the poor girl do? This time there was no 
knight to come to her aid. So she promised to do as the 
slave wished, and he took up the seven heads and brought 
the princess to her father. 

Oh, how enchanted the king was to see her again, and 
the whole town shared his joy ! 

And the slave was called upon to tell how he had slain 
the monster, and when he had ended the king declared 
that he should have the princess to wife. 

But she flung herself at her father's feet, and prayed 
him to delay. l You have passed your royal word, and 
cannot go back from it. Y^et grant me this grace, and let 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




YTHE-HGHT VITRTHE^EVENHERDED -SERPENT- 
Digitized by Microsoft ® 



214 THE TWO BROTHERS 

seven years and seven months go by before you wed me. 
"When they are over, then I will marry the slave.' And 
the king listened to her, and seven years and seven 
months she looked for her bridegroom, and wept for him 
night and day. 

All this time the young man was riding through the 
world, and when the seven years and seven months were 
over he came back to the town where the princess lived — 
only a few days before the wedding. And he stood before 
the king, and said to him : ; Give me your daughter, 
king, for I slew the seven-headed serpent. And as 
a sign that my words are true, look on these seven 
tongues, which I cut from his seven heads, and on this 
embroidered cloth, which was given me by your daughter.' 

Then the princess lifted up her voice and said, ; Yes, 
dear father, he has spoken the truth, and it is he who is 
my real bridegroom. Yet pardon the slave, for he was 
sorely tempted/ 

But the king answered, ' Such treachery can no man 
pardon. Quick, away with him, and off with his head!' 

So the false slave was put to death, that none might 
follow in his footsteps, and the wedding feast was held, 
and the hearts of all rejoiced that the true bridegroom 
had come at last. 

These two lived happy and contentedly for a long while, 
when one evening, as the young man was looking from 
the window, he saw on a mountain that lay out beyond 
the town a great bright light. 

6 AYhat can it be? ' he said to his wife. 

' Ah ! do not look at it/ she answered, ' for it comes 
from the house of a wicked witch whom no man can 
manage to kill.' But the princess had better have kept 
silence, for her words made her husband's heart burn 
within him, and he longed to try his strength against the 
witch's cunning. And all day long the feeling grew 
stronger, till the next morning he mounted his horse, and, 
in spite of his wife's tears, he rode off to the mountain. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE TWO BROTHERS 215 

The distance was greater than he thought, and it was 
dark before he reached the foot of the mountain ; indeed, 
he could not have found the road at all had it not been 
for the bright light, which shone like the moon on his 
path. At length he came to the door of a fine castle, 
which had a blaze streaming from every window. He 




iCheUitcY) clx.sts aspelO 
|oa the Elder Brother, i^ 



mounted a flight of steps and entered a hall where a 
hideous old woman was sitting on a golden chair. 

She scowled at the young man and said, ' With a 
single one of the hairs of my head I can turn you into 
stone.' 

' Oh, what nonsense ! ' cried he. c Be quiet, old woman. 
What could you do with one hair? ' But the witch pulled 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



214 THE TWO BROTHERS 

seven years and seven months go by before you wed me. 
When they are over, then J will marry the slave.' And 
the king listened to her, and seven years and seven 
months she looked for her bridegroom, and wept for him 
night and day. 

All this time the young man was riding through the 
world, and when the seven years and seven months were 
over he came back to the town where the princess lived — 
only a few days before the wedding. And he stood before 
the king, and said to him : ' Give me your daughter, 
O king, for I slew the seven-headed serpent. And as 
a sign that my words are true, look on these seven 
tongues, which I cut from his seven heads, and on this 
embroidered cloth, which was given me by your daughter. ' 

Then the princess lifted up her voice and said, ' Yes, 
dear father, he has spoken the truth, and it is he who is 
my real bridegroom. Yet pardon the slave, for he was 
sorely tempted.' 

But the king answered, 6 Such treachery can no man 
pardon. Quick, away with him, and off with his head!' 

So the false slave was put to death, that none might 
follow in his footsteps, and the wedding feast was held, 
and the hearts of all rejoiced that the true bridegroom 
had come at last. 

These two lived happy and contentedly for a long while, 
when one evening, as the young man was looking from 
the window, lie saw on a mountain that lay out beyond 
the town a great bright light. 

' What can it be?' he said to his wife. 

'Ah! do not look at it,' she answered, 'for it comes 
from the house of a wicked witch whom no man can 
manage to kill.' But the princess had better have kept 
silence, for her words made her husband's heart burn 
within him, and he longed to try his strength against the 
witch's cunning. And all day long the feeling grew 
stronger, till the next morning he mounted his horse, and, 
in spite of his wife's tears, he rode off to the mountain. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE TWO BROTHERS 215 

The distance was greater than he thought, and it was 
dark before he reached the foot of the mountain ; indeed, 
he could not have found the road at all had it not been 
for the bright light, which shone like the moon on his 
path. At length he came to the door of a fine castle, 
which had a blaze streaming from every window. He 




mounted a flight of steps and entered a hall where a 
hideous old woman was sitting on a golden chair. 

She scowled at the young man and said, i With a 
single one of the hairs of my head I can turn you into 
stone/ 

4 Oh, what nonsense ! ' cried he. ' Be quiet, old woman. 
What could you do with one hair? ' But the witch pulled 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



21G THE TWO BROTHERS 

out a hair and laid it ou his shoulder, and his limbs grew 
cold and heavy, and he could not stir. 

Now at this very moment the younger brother was 
thinking of him, and wondering how he had got on 
during all the years since they had parted. v I will go to 
the fig-tree,' he said to himself, ' to see whether he is alive 
or dead.' So he rode through the forest till he came 
where the fig-tree stood, and cut a slit in the bark, and 
waited. In a moment a little gurgling noise was heard, 
and out came a stream of blood, running fast. ' Ah, woe 
is me ! ' he cried bitterly. 4 My brother is dead or dying ! 
Shall I ever reach him in time to save his life?' Then, 
leaping on his horse, he shouted, ' Now, my steed, fly like 
the wind ! ' and they rode right through the world, till one 
day they came to the town where the young man and his 
wife lived. Here the princess had been sitting every da} T 
since the morning that her husband had left her, weeping 
bitter tears, and listening for his footsteps. And when 
she saw his brother ride under the balcony she mistook 
him for her own husband, for they were so alike that no 
man might tell the difference, and her heart bounded, and, 
leaning down, she called to him, ' At last! at last ! how 
long have I waited for thee ! ' When the younger brother 
heard these words he said to himself, ' So it was here 
that m} T brother lived, and this beautiful woman is my 
sister-in-law,' but he kept silence, and let her believe he 
was indeed her husband. Full of joy, the princess led 
him to the old king, who welcomed him as his own son, 
and ordered a feast to be made for him. And the princess 
was beside herself with gladness, but when she would 
have put her arms round him and kissed him he held up 
his hand to stop her, saying. 'Touch me not,' at which she 
marvelled greatly. 

In this manner several days went by. And one 
evening, as the young man leaned from the balcony, he 
saw a bright light shining on the mountain. 

4 AVhat can that be ? ' he said to the princess. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE TWO BROTHERS 217 

4 Oh, come away/ she cried ; ' has not that light already 
proved your bane? Do you wish to fight a second time 
with that old witch? ' 

He marked her words, though she knew it not, and 
they taught him where his brother was, and what had 
befallen him. So before sunrise he stole out early, 
saddled his horse, and rode off to the mountain. But the 
way was further than he thought, and on the road he met 
a little old man who asked him whither he was going. 

Then the young man told him his story, and added, 
4 Somehow or other I must free my brother, who has 
fallen into the power of an old witch.' 

4 I will tell you what you must do,' said the old man. 
i The witch's power lies in her hair ; so when you see her 
spring on her and seize her by the hair, and then she 
cannot harm you. Le very careful never to let her hair 
go, bid her lead you to your brother, and force her to 
bring him back to life. For she has an ointment that will 
heal all wounds, and even wake the dead. And when 
your brother stands safe and well before you, then cut 
off her head, for she is a wicked woman.' 

The young man was grateful for these words, and 
promised to obey them. Then he rode on, and soon 
reached the castle. He walked boldly up the steps and 
entered the hall, where the hideous old witch came to 
meet him. She grinned horribly at him, and cried out, 
' With one hair of my head I can change you into stone.' 

'Can you, indeed?' said the young man, seizing her 
by the hair. ' You old wretch ! tell me what you have 
done with my brother, or I will cut your head off this 
very instant.' Now the witch's strength was all gone 
from her, and she had to obey. 

k I will take you to your brother,' she said, hoping to 
get the better of him by cunning, ' but leave me alone. 
You hold me so tight that I cannot walk.' 

'You must manage somehow,' he answered, and held 
her tighter than ever. She led him into a large hall 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



218 THE TWO BROTHERS 

filled with stone statues, which once had been men, and, 
pointing out one, she said, k There is your brother.' 

The young man looked at them all and shook his 
head. ' My brother is not here. Take me to him, or it 
will be the worse for you/ But she tried to put him off 
with other statues, though it was no good, and it was not 
until they had reached the last hall of all that he saw his 
brother lying on the ground. 

4 That is my brother,' said he. ' Now give me the 
ointment that will restore him to life.' 

Very unwillingly the old witch opened a cupboard 
close by filled with bottles and jars, and took down one 
and held it out to the young man. But he was on the 
watch for trickery, and examined it carefully, and saw 
that it had no power to heal. This happened many times, 
till at length she found it was no use, and gave him the 
one he wanted. And when he had it safe he made her 
stoop down and smear it over his brother's face, taking 
care all the while never to loose her hair, and when the 
dead man opened his eyes the youth drew his sword and 
cut off her head with a single blow. Then the elder 
brother got up and stretched himself, and said, k Oh, how 
long I have slept! And where am I?' 

' The old witch had enchanted you, but now she is 
dead and you are free. AVe will wake up the other 
knights that she laid under her spells, and then we will 
go.' 

This they did, and, after sharing amongst them the 
jewels and gold they found in the castle, each man went 
his way. The two brothers remained together, the elder 
tightly grasping the ointment which had brought him 
back to life. 

They had much to tell each other as they rode along, 
and at last the younger man exclaimed, l O fool, to leave 
such a beautiful wife to go and fight a witch! She took 
me for her husband, and I did not say her nay.' 

When the elder brother heard this a great rage filled 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE TWO BROTHERS 219 

his heart, and without sa} T ing one word, he drew his 
sword and slew his brother, and his body rolled in the 
dust. Then he rode on till he reached bis home, where 
his wife was still sitting, weeping bitterly. When she 
saw him she sprang up with a ciy, and threw herself into 
his arms. : Oh, how long have I waited for thee ! Never, 
never must you leave me any more ! ' 

When the old king heard the news he welcomed him 
as a son, and made ready a feast, and all the court sat 
down. And in the evening, when the young man was 
alone with his wife, she said to him, 4 Why w T ould you not 
let me touch you when you came back, but always 
thrust me away w r hen I tried to put my arms round you 
or kiss you ? ' 

Then the young man understood how true his brother 
had been to him, and he sat down and wept and w r rung 
his hands because of the w r icked murder that he had 
done. Suddenly he sprang to his feet, for he remembered 
the ointment which lay hidden in his garments, and he 
rushed to the place where his brother still lay. He fell 
on his knees beside the body, and, taking out the salve, 
he rubbed it over the neck where the w^ound w T as gaping 
wide, and the skin healed and the sinews grew strong, 
and the dead man sat up and looked round him. And 
the two brothers embraced each other, and the elder 
asked forgiveness for his wicked blow ; and they w r ent 
back to the palace together, and were never parted any 
more. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



220 



MASTER AND PUPIL 1 

There was once a man who bad a son who was very 
clever at reading, and took great delight in it. He went 
out into the world to seek service somewhere, and as he 
was walking between some mounds he met a man, who 
asked him where he was going. 

4 I am going about seeking for service, 5 said the boy. 

4 AVill you serve me?' asked the man. 

4 Oh, yes; just as readily you as anyone else,' said 
the boy. 

u But can you read? ' asked the man. 

4 As well as the priest,' said the boy. 

4 Then I can't have you,' said the man. 4 In fact, I 
was just wanting a boy who could n't read. His only 
work would be to dust my old books.' 

The man then went on his way, and left the boy look- 
ing after him. 

4 It was a pity I did n't get that place,' thought he. 
4 That was just the very thing for me.' 

Making up his mind to get the situation if possible, he 
hid himself behind one of the mounds, and turned his 
jacket outside in, so that the man would not know him 
again so easily. Then he ran along behind the mounds, 
and met the man at the other end of them. 

4 Where are you going, my little boy?' said the man, 
who did not notice that it was the same one he had 
met before. 

1 From the Danish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



MASTER AND PUPIL 221 

c I am going about seeking for service ? ' said the boy. 

4 Will you serve me ? ' asked the man. 

'Oh, yes; just as readily you as anyone else/ said 
the boy. 

' But can you read? ' said the man. 

1 No, I don't know a single letter,' said the boy. 

The man then took him into his service, and all the 
work he had to do was to dust his master's books. But 
as he did this he had plenty of time to read them as well, 
and he read away at them until at last he was just as 
wise as his master — who was a great wizard — and could 
perform all kinds of magic. Among other feats, he could 
change himself into the shape of any animal, or any other 
thing that he pleased. 

When he had learned all this he did not think it 
worth while staying there any longer, so he ran away 
home to his parents again. Soon after this there was a 
market in the next village, and the boy told his mother 
that he had learned how to change himself into the shape 
of any animal he chose. 

' Now,' said he, ' I shall change myself to a horse, and 
father can take me to market and sell me. I shall come 
home again all right.' 

His mother was frightened at the idea, but the boy 
told her that she need not be alarmed ; all would be well. 
So he changed himself to a horse, such a fine horse, too, 
that his father got a high price for it at the market ; but 
after the bargain was made, and the money paid, the boy 
changed again to his own shape, when no one was looking, 
and went home. 

The story spread all over the country about the fine 
horse that had been sold and then had disappeared, and 
at last the news came to the ears of the wizard. 

4 Aha ! ' said he, ' this is that bo> T of mine, who befooled 
me and ran away; but I shall have him yet.' 

The next time that there was a market the boy again 
changed himself to a horse, and was taken thither by his 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



222 MASTER AXB PUPIL 

father. The horse soon found a purchaser, and while 
the two were inside drinking the luck-penny the wizard 
came along and saw the horse. He knew at once that 
it was not an ordinary one, so he also went inside, and 
offered the purchaser far mure than lie had paid for it, so 
the latter sold it to him. 

The first thing the wizard now did was to lead the 
horse away to a smith to get a red-hot nail driven into 
its mouth, because after that it could not change its shape 
again. When the horse saw this it changed itself to a 
dove, and new up into the air. The wizard at once 
changed himself into a hawk, and flew up after it. The 
dove now turned into a gold ring, and fell into a girl's lap. 
The hawk now turned into a man, and offered the girl a 
great sum of money for the gold ring, but she would not 
part with it, seeing that it had fallen down to her, as 
it were, from Heaven. However, the wizard kept on 
offering her more and more for it, until at last the gold 
ring grew frightened, and changed itself into a grain of 
barley, which fell on the ground. The man then turned 
into a hen, and began to search for the grain of barley, but 
this again changed itself to a pole-cat, and took off the 
hen's head with a single simp. 

The wizard was now dead, the pole-cat put on human 
shape, and the youth afterwards married the girl, and 
from that time forward let all his magic arts alone. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



223 



THE GOLDEN LION 1 

There was once a rich merchant who had three sons, 
and when they were grown up the eldest said to him, 
L Father, 1 wish to travel and see the world. I pray you 
let me.' 

So the father ordered a beautiful ship to be fitted up, 
and the young man sailed away in it. After some weeks 
the vessel cast anchor before a large town, and the mer- 
chant's son went on shore. 

The first thing he saw was a large notice written on 
a board saying that if any man could find the king's 
daughter within eight days he should have her to wife, 
but that if he tried and failed his head must be the for- 
feit, 

£ AYell,' thought the youth as he read this proclama- 
tion, ' that ought not to be a very difficult matter; ' and 
he asked an audience of the king, and told him that he 
wished to seek for the princess. 

4 Certainly,' replied the king. ' You have the whole 
palace to search in; but remember, if } T ou fail it will cost 
you your head/ 

So saying, he commanded the doors to be thrown 
open, and food and drink to be set before the young man, 
who, after he had eaten began to look for the princess. 
But though he visited every corner and chest and cup- 
board, she was not in any of them, and after eight days 
he gave it up and his head was cut off. 

1 Siticianische Mdhrchen. L. Gonzeubach. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



224 THE GOLDEX LION 

All this time his father and brothers had had no news 
of him, and were very anxious. At last the second son 
could bear it no longer, and said, ' Dear father, give rne, 
I pray you, a large ship and some money, and let me go 
and seek for my brother.' 

So another ship was fitted out, and the young man 
sailed away, and was blown by the wind into the same 
harbour where his brother had landed. 

Now when he saw the first ship lying at anchor his 
heart beat high, and he said to himself, ' My brother 
cannot surely be far off,' and he ordered a boat and was 
put on shore. 

As he jumped on to the pier his eye caught the 
notice about the princess, and he thought, ' He has under- 
taken to find her, and has certainly lost his head. I must 
try myself, and seek him as well as her. It cannot be such 
a very difficult matter.' But he fared no better than his 
brother, and in eight days his head was cut off. 

So now there was only the youngest at home, and 
when the other two never came he also begged for a 
ship that he might go in search of his lost brothers. And 
when the vessel started a high wind arose, and blew him 
straight to the harbour where the notice was set. 

'Oho!' said he, as he read, 'whoever can find the 
king's daughter shall have her to wife. It is quite clear 
now ^vhat has befallen my brothers. But in spite of that 
I think I must try my luck,' and he took the road to the 
castle. 

On the way he met an old woman, who stopped and 
begged. 

' Leave me in peace, old woman,' replied he. 

'Oh, do not send me away empty,' she said. 'You 
are such a handsome young man you will surely not re- 
fuse an old woman a few pence.' 

' I tell you, old woman, leave me alone.' 

'You are in some trouble?' she asked. 'Tell me 
what it is, and perhaps I can help you.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE GOLDEN LION 225 

Then he told her how he had set his heart on finding 
the king's daughter. 

4 1 can easily manage that for you as long as you have 
enough money.' 

4 Oh, as to that, I have plenty,' answered he. 




t "~~fThe'HercKaTvt > .s .sotv TPea.aT'3 ^he. not ice fT ^ 



' Well, you must take it to a goldsmith and get him to 
make it into a golden lion, with eyes of crystal ; and 
inside it must have something that will enable it to play 
tunes. When it is ready bring it to me.' 

The young man did as he was bid, and when the lion 
15 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



226 THE GOLDEN LION 

was made the old woman hid the youth in it, and brought 
it to the king, who was so delighted with it that he wanted 
to buy it. But she replied, ' It does not belong to me, 
and my master will not part from it at any price.' 

k At any rate, leave it with me for a few days/ said he; 
1 I should like to show it to my daughter.' 

'Yes, I can do that,' answered the old woman; 'but 
to-morrow I must have it back again.' And she went 
away. 

The king watched her till she was quite out of sight, 
so as to make sure that she was not spying upon him ; 
then he took the golden lion into his room and lifted some 
loose boards from the floor. Below the floor there was a 
staircase, which he went down till he reached a door at 
the foot. This he unlocked, and found himself in a narrow 
passage closed by another door, which he also opened. 
The young man, hidden in the golden lion, kept count 
of everything, and marked that there were in all seven 
doors. After they had all been unlocked the king 
entered a lovely hall, where the princess was amusing 
herself with eleven friends. All twelve girls wore the 
same clothes, and were as like each other as two peas. 

' What bad luck ! ' thought the youth. ' Even suppos- 
ing that I managed to find my way here again, I don't see 
how I could ever tell which was the princess.' 

And he stared hard at the princess as she clapped her 
hands with joy and ran up to them, crying, ' Oh, do let 
us keep that delicious beast for to-night; it will make 
such a nice plaything.' 

The king did not stay long, and when he left he 
handed over the lion to the maidens, who amused them- 
selves with it for some time, till they got sleepy, and 
thought it was time to go to bed. But the princess took 
the lion into her own room and laid it on the floor. 

She w r as just beginning to doze when she heard a 
voice quite close to her, which made her jump. c O 
lovely princess, if you only knew wdiat I have gone 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



228 THE GOLDEN LION 

through to find 3-011!' The princess jumped out of bed 
screaming, 'The lion! the lion ! ' but her friends thought 
it was a nightmare, and did not trouble themselves to get 
up. 

'0 lovely princess!' continued the voice, 'fear 
nothing ! I am the son of a rich merchant, and desire 
above all things to have you for my wife. And in order 
to get to you I have hidden myself in this golden lion.' 

'What use is that?' she asked. 'For if you cannot 
pick me out from among my companions you will still 
lose j'our head.' 

' I look to 3 T ou to help me,' he said. ' I have done so 
much for you that you might do this one thing for me.' 

' Then listen to me. On the eighth da3 T I will tie a 
white sash round ni3 T waist, and b3 T that you will know 
me/ 

The next morning the king came very early to fetch 
the lion, as the old woman was alread3 T at the palace 
asking for it. When the3 T were safe from view she let 
the young man out, and he returned to the king and told 
him that he wished to find the princess. 

' Very good,' said the king, who by this time was 
almost tired of repeating the same words ; ' but if 3 T ou fail 
3 T our head will be the forfeit.' 

80 the 3-011 th quietly remained in the castle, eating 
and looking at all the beautiful things around him, and 
eveiy now and then pretending to be searching busily 
in all the closets and corners. On the eighth day he 
entered the room where the king was sitting. ' Take up 
the floor in this place,' he said. The king gave a cry, 
but stopped himself, and asked, ' What do you want the 
floor up for? There is nothing there.' 

But as all his courtiers were watching him he did 
not like to make any more objections, and ordered the 
floor to be taken up, as the young man desired. The 
youth then went straight down the staircase till he 
reached the door; then he turned and demanded that the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE GOLDEX LIOX 22$ 

key should be brought. So the king was forced to unlock 
the door, and the next and the next and the next, till all 
seven were open, and they entered into the hall where the 
twelve maidens were standing all in a row, so like that 
none might tell them apart. But as he looked one of 
them silently drew a white sash from her pocket and 
slipped it round her waist, and the young man sprang to 
her and said, ' This is the princess, and I claim her for 
my wife.' And the king owned himself beaten, and 
commanded that the wedding feast should be held. 

After eight days the bridal pair said farewell to the 
king, and set sail for the youth's own country, taking with 
them a whole shipload of treasures as the princess's dowry. 
But they did not forget the old woman who had brought 
about all their happiness, and they gave her enough 
money to make her comfortable to the end of her days. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



230 



THE SPRIG OF ROSEMARY} 

Once upon a time there lived a man with one daughter, 
and he made her work hard all the day. One morning, 
when she had finished everything he had set her to do, 
he told her to go out into the woods and get some dry 
leaves and sticks to kindle a fire. 

The girl went out, and soon collected a large bundle, 
and then she plucked at a sprig of sweet-smelling rose- 
mary for herself. But the harder she pulled the firmer 
seemed the plant, and at last, determined not to be 
beaten, she gave one great tug, and the rosemary re- 
mained in her hands. 

Then she heard a voice close to her saying, 'Well?' 
and turning she saw before her a handsome young man, 
who asked why she had come to steal his firewood. 

The girl, who felt much confused, only managed to 
stammer out as an excuse that her father had sent her. 

'Very well/ replied the young man; 'then come 
with me.' 

So he took her through the opening made by the torn- 
up root, and they travelled till they reached a beautiful 
palace, splendidly furnished, but only lighted from the 
top. And when they had entered he told her that he 
was a great lord, and that never had he seen a maiden so 
beautiful as she, and that if she would give him her 

1 Cuentos Popnlars Catalans, per lo T)r. D. Francisco de S. 
Maspons y Labros (Barcelona: Libreria de Don Alvar Verdaguer 
1885). 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SPRIG OF ROSEMARY 231 

heart they would be married and live happy for ever 
after. 

And the maiden said 'yes, she would,' and so they 
were married. 

The next day the old dame who looked after the 
house handed her all the keys, but pointed her out one 




H Tj TttE, MAIDEN PLUCKS THE KOSEMAJfr j 



that she would do well never to use, for if she did the 
whole palace would fall to the ground, and the grass 
would grow over it, and the damsel herself would be 
remembered no more. 

The bride promised to be careful, but in a little while, 
when there was nothing left for her to do, she began to 



232 THE SPEIG OF ROSEMARY 

wonder what could be in the chest, which was opened by 
the key. As everybody knows, if we once begin to think 
we soon begin to do, and it was not very long before the 
key was no longer in the maiden's hand but in the lock 
of the chest. 

But the lock was stiff and resisted all her efforts, and 
in the end she had to break it. And what was inside after 
all ? Why, nothing but a serpent's skin, which her husband, 
who was, unknown to her, a magician, put on when he 
was at work ; and at the sight of it the girl was turning 
away in disgust, when the earth shook violently under 
her feet, the palace vanished as if it had never been, 
and the bride found herself in the middle of a field, not 
knowing where she was or whither to go. 

She burst into a flood of bitter tears, partly at her 
own folly, but more for the loss of her husband, whom 
she dearly loved. Then, breaking a sprig of rosemary on 
a bush hard by, she resolved, cost what it might, to seek 
him through the world till she found him. 

So she walked and she walked and she walked, till 
she arrived at a house built of straw. And she knocked 
at the door, and asked if they wanted a servant. The 
mistress said she did, and if the girl was willing she 
might stay. But day by day the poor maiden grew more 
and more sad, till at last her mistress begged her to say 
what was the matter. Then she told her story — how she 
was going through the world seeking after her husband. 

And her mistress answered her, ' Where he is. none 
can tell hotter than the Sun, the Moon, and the Wind, 
for they go everywhere ! ' 

On hearing these words the damsel set forth once 
more, and walked till she reached the Golden Castle, 
where lived the Sun. And she knocked boldly at the 
door, saying, 'All hail, O Sun! I have come to ask if, 
of your charity, you will help me in my need. By my 
own fault have I fallen into these straits, and I am 
weary, for I seek my husband through the wide world/ 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SPRIG OF ROSEMARY 



233 



4 Indeed ! ' spoke the Sun. * Do you, rich as you are, 
need help? But though you live in a palace without 
windows, the Sun enters everywhere, and he knows you.' 

Then the bride told him the whole story, and did not 




hide her own ill-doing. And the Sun listened, and was 
sorry for her ; and though he could not tell her where to 
go, he gave her a nut, and bid her open it in a time of 
great distress. The damsel thanked him with all her 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



234 THE SPRIG OF ROSEMARY 

heart, and departed, and walked and walked and walked, 
till she came to another castle, and knocked at the door, 
which was opened by an old woman. 

4 All hail ! ' said the girl. k I have come, of your 
charity, to ask your help ! ' 

4 It is my mistress, the Moon, you seek. I will tell 
her of your prayer.' 

So the Moon came out, and when she saw the maiden 
she knew her again, for she had watched her sleeping 
both in the cottage and in the palace. And she spake to 
her and said : 

4 Do you, rich as you are, need help?' 

Then the girl told her the whole stoiy, and the Moon 
listened, and was sorry for her; and though she could 
not tell her where to find her husband, she gave her an 
almond, and told her to crack it when she was in great 
need. So the damsel thanked her, and departed, and 
walked and walked and walked till she came to another 
castle. And she knocked at the door, and said : 

4 All hail ! I have come to ask if, of your charity, 
you will help me in my need.' 

4 It is my lord, the Wind, that you want,' answered 
the old woman who opened it. 4 1 will tell him of your 
prayer.' 

And the Wind looked on her and knew her again, 
for he had seen her in the cottage and in the palace, and 
he spake to her and said : 

' Do you, rich as you are, want help? ' 

And she told him the whole story. And the Wind 
listened, and was sorry for her, and he gave her a walnut 
that she was to eat in time of need. But the girl did not 
go as the Wind expected. She was tired and sad, and 
knew not where to turn, so she began to weep bitterly. 
The wind wept too for company, and said : 

4 Don't be frightened; I will go and see if lean find 
out something.' 

And the Wind departed with a great noise and fuss, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SPRIG OF ROSEMARY 235 

and in the twinkling of an eye he was back again, beam- 
ing with delight. 

4 From what one person and another have let fall/ he 
exclaimed, 4 1 have contrived to learn that he is in the 
palace of the king, who keeps him hidden lest anyone 
should see him ; and that to-morrow he is to marry the 
princess, who, ugly creature that she is, has not been 
able to find any man to wed her.' 

Who can tell the despair which seized the poor maiden 
when she heard this news ! As soon as she could speak 
she implored the Wind to do all he could to get the 
wedding put off for two or three days, for it would take 
her all that time to reach the palace of the king. 

The Wind gladly promised to do what he could, and 
as he travelled much faster than the maiden he soon 
arrived at the palace, where he found five tailors working 
night and day at the wedding clothes of the princess. 

Down came the Wind right in the middle of their 
lace and satin and trimmings of pearl ! Away they all 
went whiz ! through the open windows, right up into the 
tops of the trees across the river, among the dancing 
ears of corn! After them ran the tailors, catching, jump- 
ing, climbing, but all to no purpose ! The lace was torn, 
the satin stained, the pearls knocked off ! There was 
nothing for it but to go to the shops to buy fresh, and to 
begin all over again ! It was plainly quite impossible 
that the wedding clothes could be ready next day. 

However, the king was much too anxious to see his 
daughter married to listen to any excuses, and he declared 
that a dress must be put together somehow for the bride 
to wear. But when he went to look at the princess, she 
was such a figure that he agreed that it would be un- 
fitting for her position to be seen in such a gown, and he 
ordered the ceremony and the banquet to be postponed 
for a few hours, so that the tailors might take the dress 
to pieces and make it fit. 

But by this time the maiden had arrived footsore and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



236 THE SPRIG OF ROSEMARY 

weary at the castle, and as soon as she reached the door 
she cracked her nnt and drew out of it the most beautiful 
mantle in the world. Then she rang the bell, and 
asked : 

' Is not the princess to be married to-day? ' 

4 Yes, she is.' 

4 Ask her if she would like to buy this mantle/ 

And when the princess saw the mantle she was 
delighted, for her wedding mantle had been spoilt with 
all the other things, and it was too late to make another. 
So she told the maiden to ask what price she would, and 
it should be given her. 

The maiden fixed a large sum, many pieces of gold, 
but the princess had set her heart on the mantle, and 
gave it readily. 

Now the maiden hid her gold in the pocket of her 
dress, and turned away from the castle. The moment 
she was out of sight she broke her almond, and drew 
from it the most magnificent petticoats that ever were 
seen. Then she went back to the castle, and asked if 
the princess wished to buy any petticoats. No sooner 
did the princess cast her e} T es on the petticoats than she 
declared they were even more beautiful than the mantle, 
and that she would give the maiden whatever price she 
wanted for them. And the maiden named many pieces 
of gold, which the princess paid her gladly, so pleased 
was she with her new possessions. 

Then the girl went down the steps where none could 
watch her and cracked her walnut, and out came the 
most splendid court dress that any dressmaker had ever 
invented ; and, carrying it carefully in her arms, she 
knocked at the door, and asked if the princess wished 
to buy a court dress. 

When the message was delivered the princess sprung 
to her feet with delight, for she had been thinking that 
after all it was not much use to have a lovely mantle 
and elegant petticoats if she had no dress, and she knew 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SPRIG OF ROSEMARY 237 

the tailors would never be ready in time. So she sent at 
once to say she would buy the dress, and what sum did 
the maiden want for it. 

This time the maiden answered that the price of the 
dress was the permission to see the bridegroom. 

The princess was not at all pleased when she heard 
the maiden's reply, but, as she could not do without the 
dress, she was forced to give in, and contented herself 
with thinking that after all it did not matter much. 

So the maiden was led to the rooms which had been 
given to her husband. And when she came near she 
touched him with the sprig of rosemary that she carried ; 
and his memory came back, and he knew her, and kissed 
her, and declared that she was his true wife, and that he 
loved her and no other. 

Then they w T ent back to the maiden's home, and 
grew to be very old, and lived happy all the days of their 
life. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



238 



THE WHITE DOVE. 1 

A king had two sons. They were a pair of reckless 
fellows, who alwa} 7 s had something foolish to do. One 
day they rowed oat alone on the sea in a little boat. It 
was beautiful weather when they set out, but as soon as 
they had got some distance from the shore there arose a 
terrific storm. The oars went overboard at once, and the 
little boat was tossed about on the rolling billows like a 
nut-shell. The princes had to hold fast by the seats to 
keep from being thrown out of the boat. 

In the midst of all this they met a wonderful vessel — 
it was a dough-trough, in which there sat an old woman. 
She called to them, and said that they could still get to 
shore alive if they would promise her the son that was 
next to come to their mother the queen. 

' AVe can't do that,' shouted the princes; 'he doesn't 
belong to ^.s, so we can't give him away.' 

'Then you can rot at the bottom of the sea, both of 
you,' said the old woman; 'and perhaps it may be the 
case that your mother would rather keep the two sons 
she has than the one she has n't got yet' 

Then she rowed away in her dough-trough, while the 
storm howled still louder than before, and the water 
dashed over their boat until it was almost sinking. Then 
the princes thought that there was something in what the 
old woman had said about their mother, and being, of 
course, eager to save their lives, they shouted to her, and 

1 From the Danish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ( 



210 THE WHITE DOVE 

promised that she should have their brother if she would 
deliver them from this danger. As soon as they had done 
so the storm ceased and the waves fell. The boat drove 
ashore below their father's castle, and both princes were 
received with open arms by their father and mother, who 
had suffered great anxiety for them. 

The two brothers said nothing about what they had 
promised, neither at that time nor later on when the 
queen's third son came, a beautiful boy, whom she loved 
more than anything else in the world. He was brought 
up and educated in his father's house until he was full 
grown, and still his brothers had never seen or heard any- 
thing about the witch to whom they had promised him 
before he was born. 

It happened one evening that there arose a raging 
storm, with mist and darkness. It howled and roared 
around the king's palace, and in the midst of it there 
came a loud knock on the door of the hall where the 
youngest prince was. lie went to the door and found 
there an old woman with a dough-trough on her back, 
who said to him that he must go with her at once ; his 
brothers had promised him to her if she would save their 
lives. 

; Yes.' said he; 'if you saved my brothers' lives, and 
they promised me to you, then I will go with you.' 

They therefore went down to the beach together, 
where he had to take his seat in the trough, along with the 
witch, who sailed away with him, over the sea, home to 
her dwelling. 

The prinee was now in the witch's power, and in her 
service. The first thing she set him to was to pick 
feathers. 4 The heap of feathers that you see here/ said 
she, ' you must get finished before T come home in the 
evening, otherwise you shall be set to harder work.' He 
started to the feathers, and pieked and picked Tin til there 
was only a single feather left that had not passed through 
his hands. But then there came a whirlwind and sent 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE WHITE DOVE 241 

all the feathers flying, and swept them along the floor 
into a heap, where they la} T as if they were trampled 
together. lie had now to begin all his work over again, 
but by this time it only wanted an hour of evening, when 
the witch was to be expected home, and he easily saw 
that it was impossible for him to be finished by that time. 

Then he heard something tapping at the window pane, 
and a thin voice said, s Let me in, and I will help } 7 ou.' 
It was a white dove, which sat outside the window, and 
was pecking at it with its beak. He opened the window, 
and the dove came in and set to work at once, and picked 
all the feathers out of the heap with its beak. Before the 
hour was past the feathers were all nicely arranged: the 
dove flew out at the window, and at the same moment the 
witch came in at the door. 

' Well, well,' said she, 4 it is more than I would have 
expected of you — to get all the feathers put in order 
so nicely. However, such a prince might be expected to 
have neat fingers.' 

Next morning the witch said to the prince, 4 To-day 
you shall have some easy work to do. Outside the door 
[ have some firewood lying; you must split that for me 
into little bits that I can kindle the fire with. That will 
soon be done, but you must be finished before I come 
home.' 

The prince got a little axe and set to work at once. 
He split and clove away, and thought that he was getting 
on fast; but the day wore on until it was long past mid- 
day, and he was still very far from having finished. He 
thought, in fact, that the pile of wood rather grew bigger 
than smaller, in spite of what he took off it; so he let his 
hands fall by his side, and dried the sweat from his fore- 
head, and was ill at ease, for he knew that it would be 
bad for him if he was not finished with the work before 
the witch came home. 

Then the white dove came flying and settled down on 
the pile of wood, and cooed and said, ' Shall I help you?* 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



242 THE WHITE DO VE 

' Yes,' said the prince, ' many thanks for your help 
yesterday, and for what you offer to-day.' Thereupon the 
little dove seized one piece of wood after another and split 
it with his beak. The prince could not take away the wood 
as quickly as the dove could split it, and in a short time it 
was all cleft into little sticks. 

The dove then flew up on his shoulder and sat there; 
and the prince thanked it, and stroked and caressed its 
white feathers, and kissed its little red beak. With that 
it was a dove no longer, but a beautiful young maiden, 
who stood by his side. She told him then that she was 
a princess whom the witch had stolen, and had changed 
to this shape, but with his kiss she had got her human 
form again ; and if he would be faithful to her, and take 
her to wife, she could free them both from the witch's 
power. 

The prince was quite captivated b} T the beautiful 
princess, and was quite willing to do anything whatsoever 
to get her for himself. 

She then said to him, ' When the witch comes home 
you must ask her to grant you a wish, when you have 
accomplished so well all that she has demanded of you. 
When she agrees to this you must ask her straight out 
for the princess that she has flying about as a white 
dove. But just now you must take a red silk thread and 
tie it round my little finger, so that you ma} T be able to 
recognize me again, into whatever shape she turns me.' 

The prince made haste to get the silk thread tied 
round her little white finger; at the same moment the 
princess became a dove again and flew away, and 
immediately after that the old witch came home with her 
dough-trough on her back. 

4 Well,' said she, ' I must say that you are clever at 
your work, and it is something, too, that such princely 
hands are not accustomed to.' 

' Since you are so well pleased with my work,' said 
the prince, ' you will, no doubt, be willing to give me a 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



U\ THE WHITE DOVE 

little pleasure too, and give me something that I have 
taken a fancy to.' 

: Oh yes, indeed,' said the old woman ; ' what is it 
that you want? ' 

' I want the princess here who is in the shape of a 
white dove,' said the prince. 

4 What nonsense!' said the witch. ' Why should you 
imagine that there are princesses here flying about in the 
shape of white doves? But if you will have a princess, 
you can get one such as we have them.' She then came 
to him, dragging a shaggy little grey ass with long ears. 
' Will you have this? ' said she ; ' you can't get any other 
princess ! ' 

The prince used his eyes and saw the red silk thread 
on one of the ass's hoofs, so he said : ' Yes, just let me 
have it' 

4 What will you do with it? ' asked the witch. 

'I will ride on it,' said the prince; but with that the 
witch dragged it away again, and came back with an old, 
wrinkled, toothless hag, whose hands trembled with age. 
; You can have no other princess,' said she. ' Will you 
have her? ' 

4 Yes, I will,' said the prince, for he saw the red silk 
thread on the old woman's finger. 

At this the witch became so furious that she danced 
about and knocked everything to pieces that she could 
lay her hands upon, so that the splinters flew about the 
ears of the prince and princess, who now stood there in 
her own beautiful shape. 

Then their marriage had to be celebrated, for the 
witch had to stick to what she had promised, and he 
must get the princess whatever might happen afterwards. 

The princess now said to him, ' At the marriage feast 
you may eat what you please, but } t ou must not drink 
anything whatever, for if you do that you will forget me.' 

This, however, the prince forgot on the wedding day, 
and stretched out his hand and took a cup of wine ; but 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE WHITE DOVE 215 

the princess was keeping watch over him, and gave him 
a push with her elbow, so that the wine flew over the 
table-cloth. 

Then the witch got up and laid about her among the 
plates and dishes, so that the pieces flew about their ears, 
just as she had done when she was cheated the first 
time. 

They were then taken to the bridal chamber, and the 
door was shut. Then the princess said, c Now the witch 
has kept her promise, but she will do no more if she can 
help it, so we must fly immediately. I shall lay two 
pieces of wood in the bed to answer for us when the witch 
speaks to us. You can take the flower-pot and the glass 
of water that stands in the window, aud we must slip out 
by that and get away.' 

No sooner said than done. They hurried off out into 
the dark night, the princess leading, because she knew 
the way, having spied it out while she flew about as a 
dove. 

At midnight the witch came to the door of the room 
and called in to them, and the two pieces of wood 
answered her, so that she believed they were there, and 
went away again. Before daybreak she was at the door 
again and called to them, and again the pieces of wood 
answered for them. She thus thought that she had 
them, and when the sun rose the bridal night was past : 
she had then kept her promise, and could vent her anger 
and revenge on both of them. With the first sunbeam 
she broke into the room, but there she found no prince 
and no princess — nothing but the two pieces of firewood, 
which lay in the bed, and stared, and spoke not a word. 
These she threw on the floor, so that they were 
splintered into a thousand pieces, and off she hastened 
after the fugitives. 

With the first sunbeam the princess said to the 
prince, 'Look around; do you see anything behind us?' 

4 Yes, I see a dark cloud, far away,' said he. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



f>46 THE WHITE DOVE 

6 Then throw the flower-pot over your head,' said she. 

When this was done there was a large thick forest 
behind them. 

When the witch came to the forest she could not get 
through it until she went home and brought her axe to 
cut a path. 

A little after this the princess said again to the 
prince, ' Look round; do you see anything behind us? ' 

' Yes,' said the prince, l the big black cloud is there 
again.' 

'Then throw the glass of water over your head,' said 
she. 

"When he had done this there was a great lake behind 
them, and this the witch could not cross until she ran 
home again, and brought her dough-trough. 

Meanwhile the fugitives had reached the castle which 
was the prince's home. They climbed over the garden 
wall, ran across the garden, and crept in at an open 
window. By this time the witch was just at their heels, 
but the princess stood in the window and blew upon the 
witch ; hundreds of white doves flew out of her mouth, 
fluttered and flapped around the witch's head until she 
grew so angry that she turned into flint, and there she 
stands to this day, in the shape of a large flint stone, 
outside the window. 

Within the castle there was great rejoicing over the 
prince and his bride. His two elder brothers came and 
knelt before him and confessed what they had done, and 
said that he alone should inherit the kingdom, and they 
would always be his faithful subjects. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



247 



THE TROLLS DAUGHTER 1 

There was once a lad who went to look for a place. As 
be went along he met a man, who asked him where he 
was going. He told him his errand, and the stranger 
said, 4 Then you can serve me ; I am just in want of a lad 
like you, and I will give you good wages — a bushel of 
money the first year, two the second year, and three 
the third year, for you must serve me three years, and 
obey me in everything, however strange it seems to you. 
You need not be afraid of taking service witli me, for 
there is no danger in it if you only know how to obey.' 

The bargain was made, and the lad went home with 
the man to whom he had engaged himself. It was a 
strange place indeed, for he lived in a bank in the middle 
of the wild forest, and the lad saw there no other person 
than his master. The latter was a great troll, and had 
marvellous power over both men and beasts. 

Next day the lad had to begin his service. The first 
thing that the troll set him to was to feed all the wild 
animals from the forest. These the troll had tied up, and 
there were both wolves and bears, deer and hares, which 
the troll had gathered in the stalls and folds in his stable 
down beneath the ground, and that stable was a mile long. 
The boy, however, accomplished all this work on that 
day, and the troll praised him and said that it was very 
well done. 

Next morning the troll said to him, ' To-day the 

1 From the Danish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



248 THE TROLLS LAUGHTER 

animals are not to be fed ; they don't get the like of that 
every day. You shall have leave to play about for a little, 
until they are to be fed again. 

Then the troll said some words to him which he did 
not understand, and with that the lad turned into a hare, 
and ran out into the wood. He got plenty to run for, too, 
for all the hunters aimed at him, and tried to shoot him, 
and the dogs barked and ran after him wherever they got 
wind of him. He was the only animal that was left in 
the wood now, for the troll had tied up all the others, and 
every hunter in the whole country was eager to knock 
him over. But in this they met with no success ; there 
was no dog that could overtake him, and no marksman 
that could hit him. They shot and shot at him, and he 
ran and ran. It was an unquiet life, but in the long run 
he got used to it, when he saw that there was no danger 
in it, and it even amused him to befool all the hunters 
and dogs that were so eager after him. 

Thus a whole year passed, and when it was over the 
troll called him home, for he was now in his power like 
all the other animals. The troll then said some words to 
him which he did not understand, and the hare imme- 
diately became a human being again. < Well, how do 
you like to serve me?' said the troll, 'and how do you 
like being a hare ? ' 

The lad replied that he liked it very well ; he had never 
been able to go over the ground so quickly before. The 
troll then showed him the bushel of money that he had 
already earned, and the lad was well pleased to serve him 
for another year. 

The first day of the second year the boy had the same 
work to do as on the previous one — namely, to feed all 
the wild animals in the troll's stable. AVhen he had done 
this the troll again said some words to him, and with that 
he became a raven, and flew high up into the air. This 
was delightful, the lad thought ; he could go even faster 
now than when he was a hare, and the dogs could not 

Digitized by Microsoft® 




Pl^Ke 'Sk.oU'.s Da^Xteyg, .H " 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



250 THE TROLL'S DAUGHTER 

come after him here. This was a great delight to him, 
but he soon found out that he was not to be left quite at 
peace, for all the marksmen and hunters who saw him 
aimed at him and fired away, for they had no other birds 
to shoot at than himself, as the troll had tied up all the 
others. 

This, however, he also got used to, when he saw that 
they could never hit him, and in this way he flew about 
all that year, until the troll called him home again, said 
some strange words to him, and gave him his human 
shape again. 'Well, how did you like being a raven?' 
said the troll. 

4 1 liked it very well/ said the lad, i f or never in all 
my days have I been able to rise so high.' The troll 
then showed him the two bushels of money which he had 
earned that year, and the lad was well content to remain 
in his service for another year. 

Next day he got his old task of feeding all the wild 
beasts. When this was done the troll again said some 
words to him, and at these he turned into a fish, and 
sprang into the river. He swam up and he swam down, 
and thought it was pleasant to let himself drive with the 
stream. In this way he came right out into the sea, and 
swam further and further out. At last he came to a glass 
palace, which stood at the bottom of the sea. He could 
see into all the rooms and halls, where everything was 
very grand ; all the furniture was of white ivory, inlaid 
with gold and pearl. There were soft rugs and cushions 
of all the colours of the rainbow, and beautiful carpets 
that looked like the finest moss, and flowers and trees 
with curious]} 7 crooked branches, both green and yellow, 
white and red, and there were also little fountains which 
sprang up from the most beautiful snail-shells, and fell 
into bright mussel-shells, and at the same time made a 
most delightful music, which filled the whole palace. 

The most beautiful thing of all, however, was a young 
girl, who w r ent about there, all alone. She went about from 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE TROLL'S DAUGHTER 251 

one room to another, but did not seem to be happy with 
all the grandeur she had about her. She walked in solitude 
and melancholy, and never even thought of looking at her 
own image in the polished glass walls that were on every 
side of her, although she was the prettiest creature anyone 
could wish to see. The lad thought so too while he 
swam round the palace and peeped in from every side, 

' Here, indeed, it would be better to be a man than such 
a poor dumb fish as 1 am now,' said he to himself; ' if I 
could only remember the words that the troll says when 
he changes my shape, then perhaps I could help myself 
to become a man again.' He swam and he pondered and 
he thought over this until he remembered the sound of 
what the troll said, and then he tried to say it himself. 
In a moment he stood in human form at the bottom of 
the sea. 

He made haste then to enter the glass palace, and 
went up to the young girl and spoke to her. 

At first he nearly frightened the life out of her, but he 
talked to her so kindly and explained how he had come 
down there that she soon recovered from her alarm and 
was very pleased to have some company to relieve the 
terrible solitude that she lived in. Time passed so quickly 
for both of them that the youth (for now he was quite a 
young man, and no more a lad) forgot altogether how 
long he had been there. 

One day the girl said to him that now it was close on 
the time when he must become a fish again — the troll 
would soon call him home, and he would have to go, but 
before that he must put on the shape of the fish, other- 
wise he could not pass through the sea alive. Before this, 
while he was staying down there, she had told him that 
she was a daughter of the same troll whom the youth 
served, and he had shut her up there to keep her away 
from ever}one. She had now devised a plan by which 
they could perhaps succeed in getting to see each other 
again, and spending the rest of their lives together. But 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



252 THE TROLL'S DAUGHTER 

there was much to attend to, and he must give careful 
heed to all that she told him. 

She told him then that all the kings in the country 
round about were in debt to her father the troll, and the 
king of a certain kingdom, the name of which she told 
him, was the first who had to pay, and if he could not do 
so at the time appointed he would lose his head. 'And 
he cannot pay/ sa id she; 4 1 know that for certain. Now 
you must, first of all, give up } T Our service with my father ; 
the three years are past, and you are at liberty to go. 
You will go off, with your six bushels of money, to the 
kingdom that I have told you of, and there enter the 
service of the king. When the time comes near for his 
debt becoming due you will be able to notice by his 
manner that he is ill at ease. You shall then say to him 
that you know well enough what it is that is weighing 
upon him — - that it is the debt which he owes to the troll, 
and cannot pay, but that 3 T ou can lend him the money. 
The amount is six bushels — just what you have. You 
shall, however, only 7 lend them to him on condition that 
you may accompany him when he goes to make the pay- 
ment, and that you then have permission to run before 
him as a fool. "When you arrive at the troll's abode, you 
must perforin all kinds of foolish tricks, and see that you 
break a whole lot of his windows, and do all other damage 
that you can. My father will then get very angry, and as 
the king must answer for what his fool does he will 
sentence him, even although he has paid his debt, either 
to answer three questions or to lose his life. The first 
question my father will ask will be, u Where is my 
daughter?" Then you shall step forward and answer, 
" She is at the bottom of the sea." He will then ask yon 
whether you can recognise her, and to this you will 
answer " Yes." Then he will bring forward a whole troop 
of women, and cause them to pass before you, in order 
that you may pick out the one that you take for his 
daughter. You will not be able to recognise me at all, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE TROLL'S DAUGHTER 253 

and therefore I will catch hold of you as I go past, so that 
you can notice it, and you must then make haste to catch 
me aud hold me fast. You have then answered his first 
question. His next question will be, ^ Where is my 
heart?' You shall then step forward again and answer, 
"It is in a fish." t4 Do you know that fish?" he will 
say, and you will again answer " Yes." He will then 
cause all kinds of fish to come before you, and you shall 
choose between them. I shall take good care to keep by 
your side, and when the right fish comes 1 will give you 
a little push, and with that you will seize the fish and 
cut it up. Then all will be over with the troll ; he will 
ask no more questions, and we shall be free to wed/ 

When the youth had got all these directions as to 
what he had to do when he got ashore again the next 
thing was to remember the words which the troll said 
when he changed him from a human being to an animal ; 
but these he had forgotten, and the girl did not know 
them either. He went about all day in despair, and 
thought and thought, but he could not- remember what 
they sounded like. During the night he could not sleep, 
until towards morning he fell into a slumber, and all at 
once it flashed upon him what the troll used to say. He 
made haste to repeat the words, and at the same moment 
he became, a fish again and slipped out into the sea. 
Immediately after this he was called upon, and swam 
through the sea up the river to where the troll stood on 
the bank and restored him to human shape with the same 
words as before. 

4 Well, how do } t ou like to be a fish?' asked the 
troll. 

It was what he had liked best of all, said the youth, 
and that was no lie, as everybody can guess. 

The troll then showed him the three bushels of money 
which he had earned during the past year; they stood 
beside the other three, and all the six now belonged to 
him. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



254 THE TROLL'S DAUGHTER 

4 Perhaps you will serve me for another year yet/ 
said the troll, 4 and you will get six bushels of money 
for it; that makes twelve in all, and that is a pretty 
penny.' 

4 No,' said the youth ; he thought he had done enough, 
and was anxious to go to some other place to serve, and 
learn other people's ways ; but he would, perhaps, come 
back to the troll some other time. 

The troll said that he would always be welcome; he 
had served him faithfully for the three years they had 
agreed upon, and he could make no objections to his 
leaving now. 

The youth then got his six bushels of money, and with 
these he betook himself straight to the kingdom which 
his sweetheart had told him of. He got his money buried 
in a lonely spot close to the king's palace, and then went 
in there and asked to be taken into service. He obtained 
his request, and was taken on as stableman, to tend the 
king's horses. 

Some time passed, and he noticed how the king 
always went about sorrowing and grieving, and was never 
glad or happy. One day the king came into the stable, 
where there was no one present except the youth, who 
said straight out to him that, with his majesty's per- 
mission, he wished to ask him why he was so sorrowful. 

'It's of no use speaking about that,' said the king; 
' you cannot help me, at any rate.' 

c You don't know about that,' said the youth ; ' I know 
well enough what it is that lies so heavy on your mind, 
and I know also of a plan to get the money paid.' 

This was quite another case, and the king had more 
talk with the stableman, who said that he could easily 
lend the king the six bushels of money, but would only 
do it on condition that he should be allowed to accom- 
pany the king when he went to pay the debt, and that he 
should then be dressed like the king's court fool, and run 
before him. He would cause some trouble, for which the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE TROLL'S DAUGHTER 255 

king would be severely spoken to, but he would answer 
for it that no harm would befall him. 

The king gladly agreed to all that the youth proposed, 
and it was now high time for thein to set out. 

"When they came to the troll's dwelling it was no 
longer in the bank, but on the top of this there stood a 
large castle which the youth had never seen before. The 
troll could, in fact, make it visible or invisible, just as he 
pleased, and, knowing as much as he did of the troll's 
magic arts, the youth was not at all surprised at this. 

When they came near to this castle, which looked as 
if it was of pure glass, the youth ran on in front as the 
king's fool. He ran sometimes facing forwards, sometimes 
backwards, stood sometimes on his head, and sometimes 
on his feet, and he dashed in pieces so many of the troll's 
big glass windows and .doors that it was something awful 
to see, and overturned everything he could, and made a 
fearful disturbance. 

The troll came rushing out, and was so angry and 
furious, and abused the king : with all his might for 
bringing such a wretched fool with him, as he was sure 
that he could not pay the least bit of all the damage that 
had been done when he could not even pay off his old 
debt. 

The fool, however, spoke up, and said that he could 
do so quite easily, and the king then came forward with 
the six bushels of money which the youth had lent him. 
They were measured and found to be correct. This the 
troll had not reckoned on, but he could make no objection 
against it. The old debt was honestly paid, and the king- 
got his bond back again. 

But there still remained all the damage that had been 
done that day, and the king had nothing with which to 
pay for this. The troll, therefore, sentenced the king, 
either to answer three questions that he would put to 
him, or have his head taken off, as was agreed on in the 
old bond, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



256 THE TROLL'S DAUGHTER 

There was nothing else to be done than to try to 
answer the troll's riddles. The fool then stationed him- 
self just by the king's side while the troll came forward 
with his questions. He first asked, 4 Where is my 
daughter? ' 

The fool spoke up and said, ' She is at the bottom of 
the sea.' 

1 How do you know that? ' said the troll. 

i The little fish saw it/ said the fool. 

' Would you know her? ' said the troll. 

' Yes, bring her forward,' said the fool. 

The troll made a whole crowd of women go past them, 
one after the other, but all these were nothing but 
shadows and deceptions. Amongst the very last was the 
troll's real daughter, who pinched the fool as she went 
past him to make him aware of her presence. He 
thereupon caught her round the waist and held her fast, 
and the troll had to admit that his first riddle was solved. 

Then the troll asked again: ' Where is my heart? ' 

4 It is in a fish,' said the fool. 

* Would you know that fish? ' said the troll. 

i Yes, bring it forward,' said the fool. 

Then all the fishes came swimming past them, and 
meanwhile the troll's daughter stood just by the youth's 
side. When at last the right fish came swimming along 
she gave him a nudge, and he seized it at once, drove his 
knife into it, and split it up, took the heart out of it, and 
cut it through the middle. 

At the same moment the troll fell dead and turned 
into pieces of flint. With that all the bonds that the 
troll had bound were broken ; all the wild beasts and 
birds which he had caught and hid under the ground were 
free now, and dispersed themselves in the woods and in 
the air. 

The youth and his sweetheart entered the castle, 
which was now theirs, and held their wedding; and all 
the kings roundabout, who had been in the troll's debt, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE TROLL? S DAUGHTER 257 

and were now out of it, came to the wedding, and saluted 
the youth as their emperor, and he ruled over them all, 
and kept peace between them, and lived in his castle with 
his beautiful empress in great joy and magnificence. And 
if they have not died since they are living there to this 
day. 



17 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



258 



ESBEN AND THE WITCH 1 

There was once a man who had twelve sons : the eleven 
eldest were both big and strong, but the twelfth, whose 
name was Esben, was only a little fellow. The eleven 
eldest went out with their father to field and forest, but 
Esben preferred to stay at home with his mother, and so 
he was never reckoned at all by the rest, but was a sort 
of outcast among them. 

When the eleven had grown up to be men they 
decided to go out into the world to try their fortune, and 
they plagued their father to give them what they required 
for the journey. The father was not much in favour of 
this, for he was now old and weak, and could not well 
spare them from helping him with his work, but in the long 
run he had to give in. Each one of the eleven got a fine 
white horse and money for the journey, and so they said 
farewell to their father and their home, and rode away. 

As for Esben, no one had ever thought about him; 
his brothers had not even said farewell to him. 

After the eleven were gone Esben went to his father 
and said, ' Father, give me also a horse and money; I 
should also like to see round about me in the world.' 

4 You are a little fool,' said his father. 'If I could 
have let you go, and kept your eleven brothers at home, 
it would have been better for me in my old age.' 

4 Well, you will soon be rid of me at any rate,' said 
Esben. 

1 From the Danish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



ESBEN AND THE WITCH 



259 




*s*hfc. 



As he could got no other horse, he went into the forest, 
broke off a branch, stripped the bark off it, so that it 
became still whiter than his brothers' horses, and, mounted 
on this, rode off after his eleven 
brothers. 

The brothers rode on the whole 
day, and towards evening they came 
to a great forest, which the} 7 en- 
tered. Far within the wood they 
came to a little house, and knocked 
at the door. There came an old, 
ugly, bearded hag, and opened it, 
and they asked her whether all of 
them could get quarters for the 
night. 

4 Yes/ said the old, bearded hag, 
4 you shall all have quarters for the night, and, in addition, 
each of you shall have one of my daughters.' 

The eleven brothers thought that they had come to 
very hospitable people. They were well attended to, and 




Digitized by Microsoft ( 



260 ESBEN AND THE WITCH 

when they went to bed, each of them got one of the hag's 
daughters. 

Esben had been coming along behind them, and had 
followed the same way, and had also found the same house 
in the forest. He slipped into this, without either the 
witch or her daughters noticing him, and hid himself under 
one of the beds. A little before midnight he crept quietly 
out and wakened his brothers. He told these to change 
night-caps with the witch's daughters. The brothers saw 
no reason for this, but, to get rid of Esben's persistence, 
they made the exchange, and slept soundly again. 

When midnight came Esben heard the old witch 
come creeping along. She had a broad-bladed axe in her 
hand, and went over all the eleven beds. It was so dark 
that she could not see a hand's breadth before her, but she 
felt her way, and hacked the heads off all the sleepers 
who had the men's night-caps on — and these were her 
own daughters. As soon as she had gone her way Esben 
wakened his brothers, and they hastily took their horses 
and rode off from the witch's house, glad that they had 
escaped so well. They quite forgot to thank Esben for 
what he had done for them. 

When they had ridden onwards for some time they 
reached a king's palace, and inquired there whether they 
could be taken into service. Quite easily, they were told, 
if they would be stablemen, otherwise the king had no 
use for them. They were quite ready for this, and got 
the task of looking after all the king's horses. 

Long after them came Esben riding on his stick, and 
he also wanted to get a place in the palace, but no one 
had any use for him, and he was told that he could just 
go back the way he had come. However, he stayed there 
and occupied himself as best he could. He got his food, 
but nothing more, and by night he lay just where he 
could. 

At this time there was in the palace a knight who was 
called Sn Red. He was very well liked by the king, but 

Digitized by Microsoft © 



ESBEN AiYl) THE WITCH 261 

hated by everyone else, for be was wicked both in will 
and deed. This Sir Red became angry with the eleven 
brothers, because they would not always stand at atten- 
tion for him, so he determined to avenge himself ou 
them. 

One day, therefore, he went to the king, and said that 
the eleven brothers who had come to the palace a little 
while ago, and served as stablemen, could do a great deal 
more than they pretended. One day he had heard them 
say that if they liked they could get for the king a won- 
derful dove which had a feather of gold and a feather of 
silver time about. But they would not procure* it unless 
they were threatened with death. 

The king then had the eleven brothers called before 
him, and said to them, c You have said that you can get 
me a dove which has feathers of gold and silver time 
about.' 

All the eleven assured him that they had never said 
anything of the kind, and they did not believe that such 
a dove existed in the whole world. 

' Take your own mind of it/ said the king ; < but if you 
don't get that dove within three days you shall lose } T our 
heads, the whole lot of you.' 

With that the king let them go, and there was great 
grief among them; some wept and others lamented. 

At that moment Esben came along, and, seeing their 
sorrowful looks, said to them, ' Hallo, what 's the matter 
with you ? ' 

'What good would it do to tell you, you little fool? 
You can't help us.' 

' Oh, you don't know that,' answered Esben. < I have 
helped you before.' 

In the end they told him how unreasonable the king 
was, and how he had ordered them to get for him a dove 
with feathers of gold and silver time about. 

4 Give me a bag of peas,' said Esben, c and I shall see 
what I can do for you.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



262 



ESBEN AND THE WITCH 



Esben got his bag of peas ; then he took his white 
stick, and said, 

Fly quick, my little stick, 
Carry me across the stream. 



Straightway the stick carried him across the river and 
straight into the old witch's courtyard. Esben had 
noticed that she had such a dove; so when he arrived 
in the courtyard he shook the peas out of the bag, and 
the dove came fluttering down to pick them up. Esben 
caught it at once, put it into the bag, and hurried oft 
before the witch caught sight of him ; but the next 
moment she came running, and shouted after him, c Hey! 
is that you, Esben? ' 

'Ye — e — s ! ' 

c Is it you that has 
taken my dove? ' 

c Ye — e — s ! ' 

' Was it you that made 
me kill my eleven daugh- 
ters ? ' 

1 Ye — e — s ! ' 

' Are you coming back 
again ? ' 

4 That may be,' said 
Esben. 

' Then you '11 catch it,' 
shouted the witch. 

The stick carried Es- 
ben with the dove back to 
the king's palace, and his 
brothers were greatly de- 
lighted. The king thanked 
them many times for the 
dove, and gave them in 
return both silver and 
gold. At this Sir Red 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



ESBEN AXD THE WITCH 263 




became still more embittered, and again thought of how 
to avenge himself on the brothers. 

One day he went to the king and told him that the 
dove was by no means the best thing that the brothers 
could get for him ; for one day he had heard them talking 
quietly among themselves, and they had said that they 
could procure a boar whose bristles were of gold and 
silver time about. 

The king again summoned the brothers before him, 
and asked whether it was true that they had said that 
they could get for him a boar whose bristles were of gold 
and silver time about. 

'No,' said the brothers; they had never said nor 
thought such a thing, and they did not believe that there 
was such a boar in the whole world. 

'You must get me that boar within three days,' said 
the king, 4 or it will cost you your heads. 5 

With that they had to go. This was still worse than 
before, they thought. Where could they get such a mar- 
vellous boar? They all went about hanging their heads; 
but when only one day remained of the three Esben came 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



2G4 ESBEX AND THE WITCH 

along. "When he saw his brothers' sorrowful looks he 
cried, ' Hallo, what's the matter now?' 

' Oh, what's the use of telling you?' said his brothers. 
* You can't help us, at any rate.' 

'Ah, you don't know that,' said Esben; 'I've helped 
you before.' 

In the end they told him how Sir Red had stirred up 
the king against them, so that he had ordered them to 
get for him a boar with bristles of gold and silver time 
about. 

' That 's all right,' said Esben ; c give me a sack of 
malt, and it is not quite impossible that I may be able to 
help you.' 

Esben got his sack of malt; then he took his little 
white stick, set himself upon it, and said, 

Fly quick, my little stick, 
Carry me across the stream. 

Off went the stick with him, and very soon he was 
again in the witch's courtyard. There he emptied out 
the malt, and next moment came the boar, which had 
every second bristle of gold and of silver. Esben at once 
put it into his sack and hurried off before the witch should 
catch sight of him; but the next moment she came run- 
ning, and shouted after him, ' Hey ! is that you, Esben? ' 

'Ye — e — s ! ' 

' Is it you that has taken my pretty boar?' 

' Ye — e — s ! ' 

' It was also you that took my dove ? ' 

'Ye-e-s!' 

' And it was you that made me kill my eleven 
daughters?' 

' Ye — e — s ! ' 

' Are you coming back again ? ' 

' That may be,' said Esben. 

' Then you '11 catch it,' said the witch. 

Esben was soon back at the palace with the boar, and 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



ESBEX 'AND THE WITCH 265 

his brothers scarcely knew which leg to stand on, so 
rejoiced were they that they were safe again. Not one of 
them, however, ever thought of thanking Esben for wha*. 
he had done for them. 

The king was still more rejoiced over the boar than 
he had been over the dove, and did not know what to give 
the brothers for it. At this Sir Red was again possessed 
with anger and envy, and again he went about and planned 
how to get the brothers into trouble. 

One day he went again to the king and said, 'These 
eleven brothers have now procured the dove and the boar, 
but they can do much more^ than that; I know they have 
said that if they liked they could get for the king a lamp 
that can shine over seven kingdoms. ' 

' If they have said that,' said the king, L they shall also 
be made to bring it to me. That would be a glorious 
lamp for me.' 

Again the king sent a message to the brothers to come 
up to the palace. They went accordingly, although very 
unwillingly, for they suspected that Sir Red had fallen on 
some new plan to bring them into trouble. 

As soon as they came before the king he said to them, 
' You brothers have said that you could, if you liked, get 
for me a lamp that can shine over seven kingdoms. That 
lamp must be mine within three days, or it will cost you 
your lives.' 

The brothers assured him that they had never said so, 
and they were sure that no such lamp existed, but their 
words were of no avail. 

c The lamp ! ' said the king, ' or it will cost you your 
heads.' 

The brothers were now in greater despair than ever. 
They did not know what to do, for such a lamp no one 
had ever heard of. But just as things looked their worst 
along came Esben. 

'Something wrong again?' said he. 'What's the 
matter with you now ? ' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



26G ESBEN AXD THE WITCH 

4 Oh, it 's no use telling you,' said they. ' You can't 
help us, at any rate.' 

' Oh, you might at least tell me,' said Esben; ' I have 
helped you before.' 

In the end they told him that the king had ordered 
them to bring him a lamp which could shine over seven 
kingdoms, but such a lamp no one had ever heard tell of. 

t Give me a bushel of salt,' said Esben, ' and we shall 
see how matters go.' 

He got his bushel of salt, and then mounted his little 
white stick, and said, 

Fly quick, my little stick, 
Carry me across the stream. 

With that both he and his bushel of salt were over 
beside the witch's courtyard. But now matters were less 
easy, for he could not get inside the yard, as it was 
evening and the gate was locked. Finally he hit upon a 
plan ; he got up on the roof and crept down the chimney. 

He searched all round for the lamp, but could find it 
nowhere, for the witch always had it safely guarded, as it 
was one of her most precious treasures. When he became 
tired of searching for it he crept into the baking-oven, 
intending to lie down there and sleep till morning ; but 
just at that moment he heard the witch calling from her 
bed to one of her daughters, and telling her to make some 
porridge for her. She had grown hungry, and had taken 
such a fancy to some porridge. The daughter got out of 
bed, kindled the fire, and put on a pot with water in it. 

4 You mustn't put any salt in the porridge, though/ 
cried the witch. 

' No, neither will I,' said the daughter; but while she 
was away getting the meal Esben slipped out of the oven 
and emptied the whole bushel of salt into the pot. The 
daughter came back then and put in the meal, and after 
it had boiled a little she took it in to her mother. The 
witch took a spoonful and tasted it. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



ESBEX AXD THE WITCH 



267 



4 Uh ! ' said she ; 4 did n't I tell you not to put any salt 
in it, and it 's just as salt as the sea.' 

So the daughter had to go and make new porridge, 
and her mother warned her strictly not to put any salt in 
it. But now there was no water in the house, so she 
asked her mother to give her the lamp, so that she could 
go to the well for more. 

1 There you nave it, then,' said the witch; ' but take 
good care of it.' 

The daughter took the lamp which shone over seven 
kingdoms, and went out to the well for water, while 







Esben slipped out after her. When she was going to draw 
the water from the well she set the lamp down on a stone 
beside her. Esben watched his chance, seized the lamp, 
and gave her a push from behind, so that she plumped 
head first into the well. Then he made off with the lamp. 
But the witch got out of her bed and ran after him, 
crying : 

4 IIey! is that 3-011 again, Esben?' 

'Ye-e-s!' 

4 Was it you that took my dove ? y 

<Ye — e— si' 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



268 ESBEN AND THE WITCH 

' "Was it also you that took my boar? ' 

< Ye — e — s ! ' 

' And it was you that made me kill my eleven 
daughters ? ' 

4 Ye — e — s ! ' 

6 And now you have taken my lamp, and drowned my 
twelfth daughter in the well ? ' 

4 Ye — e — s ! ' 

' Are you coming back again ? ' 

'That may be,' said Esben. 

'Then you '11 catch it,' said the witch. 

It was only a minute before the stick had again landed 
Esben at the king's palace, and the brothers were then 
freed from their distress. The king gave them many fine 
presents, but Esben did not get even so much as thanks 
from them. 

Never had Sir Red been so eaten up with envy as he 
was now, and he racked his brain day and night to find 
something quite impossible to demand from the brothers. 

One day he went to the king and told him that the 
lamp the brothers had procured was good enough, but 
they could still get for him something that was far 
better. The king asked what that was. 

' It is,' said Sir Red, ' the most beautiful coverlet that 
any mortal ever heard tell of. It also has the property 
that, when anyone touches it, it sounds so that it can be 
heard over eight kingdoms.' 

c That must be a splendid coverlet,' said the king, and 
he at once sent for the brothers. 

; You have said that you know of a coverlet, the most 
beautiful in the whole world, and which sounds over 
eight kingdoms when anyone touches it. You shall pro- 
cure it for me, or else lose your lives,' said he. 

The brothers answered him that they had never said 
a word about such a coverlet, did not believe it existed, 
and that it was quite impossible for them to procure 
it. But the king would not hear a word ; he drove them 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



ESBEN AND THE WITCH 269 

away, telling them that if they did not get it very soon 
it would cost them their heads. 

Things looked very black again for the brothers, for 
they were sure there was no escape for them. The 
youngest of them, indeed, asked where Esben was, but 
the others said that that little fool could scarcely keep 
himself in clothes, and it was not to be expected that 
he could help them. Not one of them thought it worth 
while to look for Esben, but he soon came along of 
himself. 

' Well, what 's the matter now? ' said he. 

1 Oh, what 's the use of telling you? ' said the brothers. 
' You can't help us, at any rate.' 

'Ah! who knows that?' said Esben. 'I have helped 
you before.' 

In the end the brothers told him about the coverlet 
which, when one touched it, sounded so that it could be 
heard over eight kingdoms. Esben thought that this was 
the worst errand that he had had yet, but he could not do 
worse than fail, and so he would make the attempt. 

He again took his little white stick, set himself on it, 
and said, 

Yh quick, my little stick, 
Carry me across the stream. 

Next moment he was across the river and beside the 
witch's house. It was evening, and the door was locked, 
but he knew the way down the chimney. When he had 
got into the house, however, the worst yet remained to do, 
for the coverlet was on the bed in which the witch lay 
and slept. He slipped into the room without either she 
or her daughter wakening ; but as soon as he touched the 
coverlet to take it it sounded so that it could be heard 
over eight kingdoms. The witch awoke, sprang out of 
bed, and caught hold of Esben. He struggled with her, 
but could not free himself, and the witch called to her 
daughter, c Come and help me ; we shall put him into the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



270 



ESBEN AXD THE WITCH 



little dark room to be fattened. Ho, ho ! now I have 
him! ' 

Esben was now put into a tittle dark hole, where he 
saw neither sun nor moon, and there he was fed on sweet 
milk and nut-kernels. The daughter had enough to do 
cracking nuts for him, and at the end of fourteen days 
she had only one tooth left in her mouth ; she had broken 
all the rest with the nuts. In this time, however, she 
had taken a liking to Esben, and would willingly have set 
him free, but could not. 




When some time had passed the witch told her 
daughter to go and cut a finger off Esben, so that she could 
see whether he was nearly fat enough yet. The daughter 
went and told Esben, and asked him what she should do. 
Esben told her to take an iron nail and wrap a piece of 
skin round it : she could then give her mother this to bite 
at. 

The daughter did so, but when the witch bit it she 
cried, i Uh ! no, no I This is nothing but skin and bone; 
he must be fattened much longer yet.' 

So Esben was fed for a while louder on sweet milk 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



ESBEN AND THE WITCH 271 

and nut-kernels, until one day the witch thought that 
now he must surely be fat enough, and told her daughter 
again to go and cut a finger off him. By this time 
Esben was tired of staying in the dark hole, so he told her 
to go and cut a teat off a cow, and give it to the witch to 
bite at. This the daughter did, and the witch cried, ' Ah ! 
now he is fat — so fat that one can scarcely feel the bone 
in him. Now he shall be killed.' 

Now this was just the very time that the witch had 
to go to Troms Church, where all the witches gather once 
every year, so she had no time to deal with Esben herself. 
She therefore told her daughter to heat up the big oven 
while she was away, take Esben out of his prison, and 
roast him in there before she came back. The daughter 
promised all this, and the witch went off on her journey. 

The daughter then made the oven as hot as could be, 
and took Esben out of his prison in order to roast him. 
She brought the oven spade, and told Esben to seat him- 
self on it, so that she could shoot him into the oven. 
Esben accordingly took his seat on it, but when she had 
got him to the mouth of the oven he spread his legs out 
wide, so that she could not get him pushed in. 

4 You must n't sit like that,' said she. 

4 How then?' said Esben. 

4 You must cross your legs/ said the daughter ; but 
Esben could not understand what she meant by this. 

4 Get out of the way,' said she, ' and I will show you 
how to place yourself.' 

She seated herself on the oven spade, but no sooner 
had she done so than Esben laid hold of it, shot her into 
the oven, and fastened the door of it. Then he ran and 
seized the coverlet, but as soon as he did so it sounded 
so that it could be heard over eight kingdoms, and the 
witch, who was at Troms Church, came flying home, and 
shouted, * Hey ! is that you again, Esben?' 

4 Ye — e — s ! ' 

4 It was you that made me kill my eleven daughters?' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



272 ESBEN AND THE WITCH 

* Ye — e — s ! ' 

4 And took my dove ? ' 

4 Ye — e — s ! ' 

' And my beautiful boar? ' 

4 Ye — e — s ! ' 

4 And drowned my twelfth daughter in the well, and 
took my lamp ? ' 

'Ye — e — s J ' 

4 And now you have roasted my thirteenth and last 
daughter in the oven, and taken my coverlet?' 

k Ye — e — s ! ' 

4 Are you coming back again? ' 

4 No, never again,' said Esben. 

At this the witch became so furious that she sprang 
into numberless pieces of flint, and from this come all the 
flint stones that one finds about the country. 

Esben had found again his little stick, which the witch 
had taken from him, so he said. 

Fly quick, my little stick, 
Carry me across the stream. 

Next moment he was back at the king's palace. Here 
things were in a bad way, for the king had thrown all the 
eleven brothers into prison, and they were to be executed 
very shortly because the} T had not brought him the 
coverlet. Esben now went up to the king and gave him 
the coverlet, with which the king was greatly delighted. 
When he touched it it could be heard over eight king- 
doms, and all the other kiugs sat and were angry because 
they had not one like it. 

Esben also told how everything had happened, and 
how Sir Red had done the brothers all the ill he could 
devise because he was envious of them. The brothers 
w r ere at once set at liberty, while Sir Red, for his wicked- 
ness, was hanged on the highest tree that could be found, 
and so he got the reward he deserved. 

Much was made of Esben and his brothers, and these 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



ESBBX AXD THE WITCH 



273 



now thanked him for all that he had done for them. The 
twelve of them received as much gold and silver as they 
could carry, and betook themselves home to their old 
father. When he saw again his twelve sons, whom he 




"SB* 



(Tki/- GJtttL breaks' Irvte Tm\ti' 



had never expected to see more, lie was so glad that he 
wept for joy. The brothers told him how much Esben 
had done, and how he had saved their lives, and from that 
time forward he was no longer the butt of the rest at 
home. 

18 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



274 



PRINCESS MINON-MINETTE} 

Once upon a time there lived a young king whose name 
was Souci, and he had been brought up, ever since he 
was a baby, by the fairy Inconstancy. Now the fairy 
Girouette had a kind heart, but she was a very trying 
person to live with, for she never knew her own mind for 
two minutes together, and as she was the sole ruler at 
Court till the prince grew up everything was always at 
sixes and sevens. At first she determined to follow the 
old custom of keeping the young king ignorant of the 
duties he would have to perform some day ; then, quite 
suddenly, she resigned the reins of government into his 
hands ; but, unluckily, it was too late to train him properly 
for the post. However, the fairy did not think of that, 
but, carried away by her new ideas, she hastily formed a 
Council, and named as Prime Minister the excellent 
' Ditto,' so called because he had never been known to 
contradict anybody. 

Young Prince Souci had a handsome face, and at the 
bottom a good deal of common sense ; but he had never 
been taught good manners, and was shy and awkward; 
and had, besides, never learned how to use his brains. 

Under these circumstances it is not surprising that 
the Council did not get through much work. Indeed, the 
affairs of the country fell into such disorder that at last 
the people broke out into open rebellion, and it was only 
the courage of the king, who continued to play the flute 

1 B'bliotheque des Fees et des Gtines. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




|j fTrtn.cessrDi^7ian^I blown I against- the)haystadtK j 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



276 PRIXCESS MIX0X-M1XETTE 

while swords and spears were flashing before the palace 
gate, that prevented civil war from being declared. 

No sooner was the revolt put down than the Council 
turned their attention to the question of the young king's 
marriage. Various princesses were proposed to him, and 
the fairy, who was anxious to get the affair over before 
she left the Court for ever, gave it as her opinion that 
the Princess Diaphana would make the most suitable 
wife. Accordingly envoys were sent to bring back an 
exact report of the princess's looks and ways, and they 
returned saying that she was tall and well made, but so 
very light that the equerries who accompanied her in her 
walks had to be always watching her, lest she should 
suddenly be blown away. This had happened so often 
that her subjects lived in terror of losing her altogether, 
and tried everything they could think of to keep her to 
the ground. They even suggested that she should carry 
weights in her pockets, or have them tied to her ankles ; but 
this idea was given up, as the princess found it so uncom- 
fortable. At length it was decided that she was never to 
go out in a wind, and in order to make matters surer still 
the equerries each held the end of a string which was 
fastened to her waist. 

The Council talked over this report for some days, 
and then the king made up his mind that he would judge 
for himself, and pretend to be his own ambassador. This 
plan was by no means new, but it had often succeeded, 
and, anyhow, they could think of nothing better. 

Such a splendid embassy had never before bsen seen 
in any country. The kingdom was left in the charge of 
the Prime Minister, who answered i Ditto ' to everything ; 
but the choice was better than it seemed, for the worthy 
man was much beloved by the people, as he agreed with 
all they said, and they left him feeling very pleased with 
themselves and their own wisdom. 

"When the king arrived at Diaphana's Court he found 
a magnificent reception awaiting him, for, though they 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



PRINCESS MINON-MINETTE Til 

pretended not to know who he was, secrets like this are 
never hidden. Now the young king had a great dislike 
to long ceremonies, so he proposed that his second inter- 
view with the princess should take place in the garden. 
The princess made some difficulties, but, as the weather 
was lovely and very still, she at last consented to the 
king's wishes. But no sooner had they finished their 
first bows and curtseys than a slight breeze sprung up, 
and began to sway the princess, whose equerries had 
retired out of respect. The king went forward to steady 
her, but the wind that he caused only drove her further 
away fnm him. He rushed after her exclaiming, 4 
princes.-! are you really running away from me?' 

' Good gracious, no ! ' she replied. ' Run a little 
quicker and you will be able to stop me, and I shall be 
for ever grateful. That is what comes of talking in a 
garden/ she added in disgust; 'as if one was n't much 
better in a room that was tightly closed all round.' 

The king ran as fast as he could, but the wind ran 
faster still, and in a moment the princess was whirled to 
the bottom of the garden, which was bounded by a ditch. 
She cleared it like a bird, and the king, who was obliged 
to stop short at the edge, saw the lovely Diaphana flying 
over the plain, sometimes driven to the right, sometimes 
to the left, till at last she vanished out of sight. 

By this time the whole court were running over the 
plain, some on foot and some on horseback, all hurrying 
to the help of their princess, who really was in some 
danger, for the wind was rising to the force of a gale. 
The king looked on for a little, and then returned with 
his attendants to the palace, reflecting all the while on 
the extreme lightness of his proposed bride and the 
absurdity of having a wife that rose in the air better 
than any kite. He thought on the whole that it would 
be wiser not to wait longer, but to depart at once, and 
he started on horseback at the very moment when the 
princess had been found by her followers, wet to the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



278 PR1XCESS M1N0N-M1NETTE 

skin, and blown against a rick. Souci met the carriage 
which was bringing her home, and stopped to congratu- 
late her on her escape, and to advise her to put on dry 
clothes. Then he continued his journey. 

It took a good while for the king to get home again, 
and he was rather cross at having had so much trouble 
for nothing. Besides which, his courtiers made fun at 
his adventure, and he did not like being laughed at, 
though of course they did not dare to do it before his 
face. And the end of it was that very soon he started 
on his travels again, only allowing one equerry to accom- 
pany him, and even this attendant he managed to lose 
the moment he had left his own kingdom behind him. 

Now it was the custom in those days for princes and 
princesses to be brought up by fairies, who loved them 
as their own children, and did not mind what incon- 
venience they put other people to for their sakes, for all 
the world as if they had been real mothers. The fairy 
Aveline, who lived in a country that touched at one point 
the kingdom of King Souci, had under her care the lovely 
Princess Minon-Minette, and had made up her mind to 
marry her to the } T oung king, who, in spite of his awkward 
manners, which could be improved, was really very much 
nicer than most of the young men she was likely to meet. 

So Aveline made her preparations accordingly, and 
began by arranging that the equerry should lose himself 
in the forest, after which she took away the king's sword 
and his horse while he lay asleep under a tree. Her 
reason for this was that she felt persuaded that, finding 
himself suddenly alone and robbed of everything, the 
king would hide his real birth, and would have to fall 
back on his powers of pleasing, like other men, which 
would be much better for him. 

"When the king awoke and found that the tree to 
which he had tied his horse had its lowest branch broken, 
and that nothing living was in sight, he was much dis- 
mayed, and sought high and low for his lost treasure, but 

Digitized by Microsoft @ 







.j^^j^^^^ ^^^iq^^^^^^ 



Digitized by Microsoft® 



280 PRINCESS M1NON-M1NETTE 

all in vain. After a time he began to get hungry, so he 
decided that he had better try to find his way out of the 
forest, and perhaps he might have a chance of getting 
something to eat. He had only gone a few steps when 
he met Aveline, who had taken the shape of an old 
woman with a heavy bundle of faggots on her back. She 
staggered along the path and almost fell at his feet, and 
Souci, afraid that she might have hurt herself, picked her 
up and set her on her feet again before passing on his 
way. But he was not to be let off so easy. 

'What about my bundle?' cried the old woman. 
'Where is your politeness? Really, you seem to have 
been very nicely brought up ! What have they taught 
yon?' 

4 Taught me? Nothing,' replied he. 

4 I can well believe it ! ' she said. 4 Yon don't know even 
how to pick up a bundle. Oh, you can come near; I am 
cleverer than you, and know how to pick up a bundle 
very well.' 

The king blushed at her words, which he felt had a 
great deal of truth in them, and took up the bundle 
meekly. 

Aveline, delighted at the success of her first experi- 
ment, hobbled along after him, chattering all the while, as 
old women do. 

4 I wish,' she said, ' that all kings had done as much 
once in their lives. Then they would know what a lot of 
trouble it takes to get wood for their fires.' 

Souci felt this to be true, and was sorry for the old 
woman. 

4 Where are we going to? ' asked he. 

4 To the castle of the White Demon ; and if you are 
in want of work I will find you something to do.' 

4 But I can't do anything,' he said, 4 except carry a 
bundle, and I shan't earn much by that.' 

4 Oh, you are learning,' replied the old woman, 4 and it 
is n't bad for a first lesson.' But the king was paying very 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



PRINCESS MINOX-MINETTE 281 

little attention to her, for be was rather cross and very 
tired. Indeed, he felt that he really could not carry the 
bundle any further, and was about to lay it down when 
up earae a young maiden more beautiful than the day, 
and covered with precious stones. She ran to them, 
exclaiming to the old woman, 

4 Oh, you poor thing ! I was just coming after you to 
see if I could help you.' 

' Here is a young man/ replied the old woman, ' who 
will be quite ready to give you up the bundle. You see 
he does not look as if he enjoyed carrying it.' 

' Will you let me take it, sir? ' she asked. 

But the king felt ashamed of himself, and held on to 
it tightly, while the presence of the princess put him in a 
better temper. 

So they all travelled together till they arrived at a 
very ordinary-looking house, which Aveline pointed out 
as the castle of the AVhite Demon, and told the king that 
he might put down his bundle in the courtyard. The 
young man was terribly afraid of being recognised by 
someone in this strange position, and would have turned 
on his heel and gone away had it not been for the thought 
of Minon-Minette. Still, he felt very awkward and lonely, 
for both the princess and the old woman had entered the 
castle without taking the slightest notice of the young 
man, who remained where he was for some time, not 
quite knowing what he had better do. At length a ser- 
vant arrived and led him up into a beautiful room filled 
with people, who were either playing on musical instru- 
ments or talking in a lively manner, which astonished 
the king, who stood silently listening, and not at all pleased 
at the want of attention paid him. 

Matters went on this way for some time. P^very day 
the king fell more and more in love with Minon-Minette, 
and every day the princess seemed more and more taken 
up with other people. At last, in despair, the prince 
sought out the old woman, to try to get some advice 
Digitized by Microsoft ® 



282 PEIXCESS MINON-MIXETTE 

from her as to his conduct, or, anyway, to have the plea- 
sure of talking about Minon-3Iinette. 

He found her spinning in an underground chamber, 
but quite ready to tell hiin all he wanted to know. In 
answer to his questions he learned that in order to win 
the hand of the princess it was not enough to be born a 
prince, for she would marry nobody who had not proved 
himself faithful, and had, besides, all those talents and 
accomplishments which help to make people happy. 

For a moment Souci was very much cast down on 
hearing this, but then he plucked up. l Tell me what I 
must do in order to win the heart of the princess, and no 
matter how hard it is I will do it. And show me how I 
can repay you for your kindness, and you shall have any- 
thing I can give you. Shall I bring in your bundle of 
faggots every day? ' 

1 It is enough that you should have made the offer,' 
replied the old woman; and she added, holding out a 
skein of thread, ' Take this ; one da}^ you will be thankful 
for it, and when it becomes useless your difficulties will 
be past.' 

' Is it the skein of my life? ' he asked. 

' It is the skein of your love's ill-luck,' she said. 

And he took it and went away. 

Now the fairy Girouette, who had brought up Souci, 
had an old friend called Grimace, the protectress of 
Prince Fluet. Grimace often talked over the young 
prince's affairs with Girouette, and, when she decided 
that he was old enough to govern his own kingdom, con- 
sulted Girouette as to a suitable wife. Girouette, who 
never stopped to think or to make inquiries, drew such a 
delightful picture of Minon-Minette that Grimace deter- 
mined to spare no pains to bring about the marriage, and 
accordingly Fluet was presented at court. But though 
the young man was pleasant and handsome, the princess 
thought him rather womanish in some ways, and displayed 
her opinion so openly as to draw upon herself and Aveline 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



PRINCESS MINON-MINETTE 283 

the anger of the fairy, who declared that Minon-Minette 
should never know happiness till she had found a bridge 
without an arch and a bird without feathers. So saying, 
she also went away. 

Before the king set out afresh on his travels Aveline 
had restored to him his horse and his sword, and though 
these were but small consolation for the absence of the 
princess, they were better than nothing, for he felt that 
somehow they might be the means of leading him back 
to her. 

After crossing several deserts the king arrived at 
length in a country that seemed inhabited, but the instant 
he stepped over the border he was seized and flung into 
chains, and dragged at once to the capital. lie asked his 
guards why he was treated like this, but the only answer 
he got was that he was in the territory of the Iron King, 
for in those days countries had no names of their own, 
but were called after their rulers. 

The young man was led into the presence of the Iron 
King, who was seated on a black throne in a hall also 
hung with black, as a token of mourning for all the rela- 
tions whom he had put to death. 

'What are you doing in my country?' he cried 
fiercely. 

' I came here by accident,' replied Souci, ' and if I 
ever escape from your clutches I will take warning by 
you and treat my subjects differently.' 

'Do you dare to insult me in my own court?' cried 
the king. ' Away with him to Little Ease ! ' 

Now Little Ease was an iron cage hung by four thick 
chains in the middle of a great vaulted hall, and the 
prisoner inside could neither sit, nor stand, nor lie; and, 
besides that, he was made to suffer by turns unbearable 
heat and cold, while a hundred heavy bolts kept every- 
thing safe. (xirouette, whose business it was to see after 
Souci, had forgotten his existence in the excitement of 
some new idea, and he would not have been alive long to 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



284 PRINCESS MINON-MINETTE 

trouble anybody if Aveline had not come to the rescue 
and whispered in his ear, 4 And the skein of thread ? ' 
He took it up obediently, though he did not see how it 
would help him ; but he tied it round one of the iron bars 
of his cage, which seemed the only thing he could do, and 
gave a pull. To his surprise the bar gave way at once, 
and he found he could break it into a thousand pieces. 
After this it did not take him long to get out of his cage, or 
to treat the closely barred windows of the hall in the same 
manner. But even after he had done all this freedom 
appeared as far from him as ever, for between him and 
the open country was a high wall, and so smooth that 
not even a monkey could climb it. Then Souci's heart 
died within him. He saw nothing for it, but to submit to 
some horrible death, but he determined that the Iron 
King should not profit more than he could help, and 
flung his precious thread into the air, saying as he did so, 
' O fairy, my misfortunes arc greater than your power. 
I am grateful for your goodwill, but take back your gift ! ' 
The fairy had pity on his youth and want of faith, and 
took care that one end of the thread remained in his 
hand. He suddenly felt a jerk, and saw that the thread 
must have caught on something, and this thought filled 
him with the daring that is born of despair. ' Better,' he 
said to himself, ' trust to a thread than to the mercies of 
a king;' and, gliding down, he found himself safe on the 
other side of the Avail. Then he rolled up the thread 
and put it carefully into his pocket, breathing silent 
thanks to the fairy. 

Now Minon-Miuctte had been kept informed by 
Aveline of the prince's adventures, and when she heard 
of the way in which he had been treated by the Iron King 
she became furious, and began to prepare for war. She 
made her plans with all the secresy she could, but when 
great armies are collected people are apt to suspect a 
storm is brewing, and of course it is very difficult to 
keep anything hidden from fairy godmothers. Anyway, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



PRINCESS MINON-MINETTE 285 

Grimace soon heard of it, and as she had never forgiven 
Minon-Minette for refusing Prince Fluet, she felt that 
here was her chance of revenge. 

Up to this time Aveline had been able to put a stop 
to many of Grimace's spiteful tricks, and to keep guard 
over Minon-Minette, but she had no power over anything 
that happened at a distance; and when the princess 
declared her intention of putting herself at the head of 
her army, and began to train herself to bear fatigue by 
hunting daily, the fairy entreated her to be careful never 
to cross the borders of her dominions without Aveline to 
protect her. The princess at once gave her promise, and 
all went well for some days. Unluckily one morning, as 
Minon-Minette was cantering slowly on her beautiful 
white horse, thinking a great deal about Souci and not at 
all of the boundaries of her kingdom (of which, indeed, 
she was very ignorant), she suddenly found herself 
in front of a house made entirely of dead leaves, which 
somehow brought all sorts of unpleasant things into her 
head. She remembered Aveline's warning, and tried 
to turn her horse, but it stood as still as if it had been 
marble. Then the princess felt that she was slowly, and 
against her will, being dragged to the ground. She 
shrieked, and clung tightly to the saddle, but it was 
all in vain ; she longed to fly, but something outside 
herself proved too strong for her, and she was forced 
to take the path that led to the House of Dead 
Leaves. 

Scarcely had her feet touched the threshold than 
Grimace appeared. ' So here you are at last, Miuon- 
'Minette! I have been watching for you a long time, and 
my trap was ready for you from the beginning. Come 
here, my darling ! I will teach you to make war on my 
friends! Things won't turn out exactly as you fancied. 
What you have got to do now is to go on your knees to 
the king and crave his pardon, and before he consents to 
a peace you will have to implore him to grant you the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



286 PRINCESS MIXOX-MIXETTE 

favour of becoming his wife. Meanwhile yon will have 
to be my servant.' 

From that clay the poor princess was put to the 
hardest and dirtiest work, and each morning something 
more disagreeable seemed to await her. Besides which, 
she had no food but a little black bread, and no bed but 
a little straw. Out of pure spite she was sent in the 
heat of the day to look after the geese, and would most 
likely have got a sunstroke if she had not happened to 
pick up in the fields a large fan, with which she sheltered 
her face. To be sure, a fan seems rather an odd possession 
for a goose girl, but the princess did not think of that, 
and she forgot all her troubles when, on opening the fan 
to use it as a parasol, out tumbled a letter from her lover. 
Then she felt sure that the fairy had not forgotten her, 
and took heart. 

When Grimace saw that Minon-Minette still managed 
to look as white as snow, instead of being burnt as brown 
as a berry, she wondered what could have happened, and 
began to watch her closely. The following day, when the 
sun was at its highest and hottest, she noticed her draw 
a fan from the folds of her dress and hold it before her 
eyes. The fairy, in a rage, tried to snatch it from her, 
but the princess would not let it go. 4 Give me that fan 
at once ! " cried Grimace. 

4 Never while I live!' answered the princess, and, not 
knowing where it would be safest, placed it under her 
feet. In an instant she felt herself rising from the ground, 
with the fan always beneath her, and while Grimace was 
too much blinded by her fury to notice what was going 
on the princess was quickly soaring out of her reach. 

All this time Souci had been wandering through the 
world with his precious thread carefully fastened round 
him, seeking every possible and impossible place where 
his beloved princess might chance to be. But though he 
sometimes found traces of her, or even messages scratched 
on a rock, or cut in the bark of a tree, she herself was 

Digitized by Microsoft © 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



288 PRIX CESS MIXOX-MIXETTE 

nowhere to be found. ' If she is not on the earth/ said 
Souci to himself, k perhaps she is hiding somewhere in 
the air. It is there that I shall find her.' So, by the help 
of his thread, he tried to mount upwards, but he could go 
such a little way, and hurt himself dreadfully when he 
tumbled back to earth again. Still he did not give up, 
and after many days of efforts and tumbles he found to 
his great joy that he could go a little higher and stay np 
a little longer than he had done at first, and b} T -and-bye 
he was able to live in the air altogether. But alas ! the 
world of the air seemed as empty of her as the world 
below, and Souci was beginning to despair, and to think 
that he must go and search the world that lay in the sea. 
He was floating sadly along, not paying any heed to 
where he was going, when he saw in the distance a 
beautiful, bright sort of bird coming towards him. His 
heart beat fast — he did not know why — and as they both 
drew near the voice of the princess exclaimed, ' Behold 
the bird without feathers and the bridge without an arch ! ' 

So their first meeting took place in the air, but it was 
none the less happy for that; and the fan grew big 
enough to hold the king as well as Aveline, who had 
hastened to give them some good advice. She guided 
the fan above the spot where the two armies lay encamped 
before each other ready to give battle. The fight was 
long and bloody, but in the end the Iron King was obliged 
to give way and surrender to the princess, who set him 
to keep King Souci's sheep, first making him swear a 
solemn oath that he would treat them kindly. 

Then the marriage took place, in the presence of 
Girouette, whom they had the greatest trouble to find, 
and who was much astonished to discover how much 
business had been got through in her absence. 



Digitized by Microsoft @ 



289 



MAIDEN BBIGHT-UYE 1 

Once upon a time there was a man and bis wife who had 
two children, a boy and a girl. The wife died, and the 
man married again. His new wife had an only daughter, 
who was both ugly and untidy, whereas her stepdaughter 
was a beautiful girl, and was known as Maiden Bright- 
eye. Her stepmother was very cruel to her on this 
account; she had always to do the hardest work, and got 
very little to eat, and no attention paid to her; but to her 
own daughter she was all that was good. She was spared 
from all the hardest of the housework, aud had always 
the prettiest clothes to wear. 

Maiden Bright-eye had also to watch the sheep, but 
of course it would never do to let her go idle and enjoy 
herself too much at this work, so she had to pull heather 
while she was out on the moors with them. Her step- 
mother gave her pancakes to take with her for her 
dinner, but she had mixed the flour with ashes, and made 
them just as bad as she could. 

The little girl came out on the moor and began to pull 
heather on the side of a little mound, but next minute a 
little fellow with a red cap on his head popped up out of 
the mound and said : 

' Who 's that pulling the roof off my house? ' 

'Oh, it's me, a poor little girl,' said she; 4 my mother 
sent me out here, and told me to pull heather. Tf you 
will be good to me I will give you a bit of my dinner/ 

1 From the Danish. 

. Digitized by Microsoft ® 



290 



MAIDEN BRIGHT-EYE 



The little fellow was quite willing, and she gave him 
the biggest share of her pancakes. They were not 
particularly good, but when one is hungry anything tastes 
well. After he had got them all eaten he said to her: 

' Now, I shall give you three wishes, for you are a 
very nice little girl ; but I will choose the wishes for you. 
You are beautiful, and much more beautiful shall you 
be; yes, so lovely that there will not be your like in the 




world. The next wish shall be that every time you open 
your mouth a gold coin shall fall out of it, and your voice 
shall be like the most beautiful music. The third wish 
shall be that you may be married to the young king, and 
become the queen of the country. At the same time I 
shall give you a cap, which you must carefully keep, for 
it can save you, if you ever are in danger of your life, if 
you just put it on your head.' 

Maiden Bright-eye thanked the little bergman ever so 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



MAIDEN BRIGHT-EYE 291 

often, and drove home her sheep in the evening. By that 
time she had grown so beautiful that her people could 
scarcely recognise her. Her stepmother asked her how 
it had come about that she had grown so beautiful. She 
told the whole story — for she always told the truth — that 
a little man had come to her out on the moor and had 
given her all this beauty. She did not tell, however, that 
she had given him a share of her dinner. 

The stepmother thought to herself, ' If one can be- 
come so beautiful by going out there, my own daughter 
shall also be sent, for she can well stand being made a 
little prettier.' 

Next morning she baked for her the finest cakes, and 
dressed her prettily to go out with the sheep. But she 
was afraid to go away there without having a stick to 
defend herself with if anything should come near her. 

She was not very much inclined for pulling the 
heather, as she never was in the habit of doing any work, 
but she was only a minute or so at it when up came the 
same little fellow with a red cap, and said : 

' Who 's that pulling the roof off my house? ' 

' What 's that to you? ' said she. 

' "Well, if you will give me a bit of your dinner I won't 
do you any mischief,' said he. 

4 I will give you something else in place of my dinner,' 
said she. ' I can easily eat it myself; but if you will have 
something you can have a whack of my stick,' and with 
that she raised it in the air and struck the bergman over 
the head with it. 

' What a wicked little girl you are! ' said he; l but you 
shall be none the better of this. I shall give you three 
wishes, and choose them for you. First, I shall say, 
u ugly are you, but you shall become so ugly that there 
will not be an uglier one on earth." Next I shall wish 
that every time you open your mouth, a big toad may fall 
out of it, and your voice shall be like the roaring of a bull. 
In the third place I shall wish for you a violent death.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



292 MAIDEN BRIGHT-EYE 

The girl went home in the evening, and when her 
mother saw her she was as vexed as she could be, and 
with good reason, too; but it was still worse when she saw 
the toads fall out of her mouth and heard her voice. 

Now we must hear something about the stepson. 
He had gone out into the world to look about him, and 
took service in the king's palace. About this time he got 
permission to go home and see his sister, and when he 
saw how lovely and beautiful she was, he was so pleased 
and delighted that when he came back to the king's 
palace ever3 T one there wanted to know what he was 
always so happy about. He told them that it was because 
he had sueh a lovely sister at home. 

At last it came to the ears of the king what the 
brother said about his sister, and, besides that, the report 
of her beauty spread far and wide, so that the youth was 
summoned before the king, who asked him if everything 
was true that was told about the girl. He said it was 
quite true, for he had seen her beauty with his own eyes, 
and had heard with his own ears how sweetly she could 
sing and what a lovely voice she had. 

The king then took a great desire for her, and ordered 
her brother to go home and bring her back with him, for 
he trusted no one better to accomplish that errand. He 
got a ship, and everything else that he required, and sailed 
home for his sister. As soon as the stepmother heard 
what his errand was she at once said to herself, ' This 
will never come about if I can do anything to hinder it. 
She must not be allowed to come to sueh honour.' 

She then got a dress made for her own daughter, like 
the finest robe for a queen, and she had a mask prepared 
and put upon her faee, so that she looked quite pretty, 
and gave her strict orders not to take it off until the king 
had promised to wed her. 

The brother now set sail with his two sisters, for the 
stepmother pretended that the ugly one wanted to see 
the other a bit on her way. But when they got out to sea, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



MAIDEN BRIGIIT-EYE 



293 



and Maiden Bright-eye came up on deck, the sister did as 
her mother had instructed her — she gave her a push and 
made her fall into the water. When the brother learned 




JO f 



what had happened he was greatly distressed, and did 
not know what to do. He could not bring himself to tell 
the truth about what had happened, nor did he expect 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



294 MAIDEX BRIGHT-EYE 

that the king would believe it. In the long run he 
decided to hold on his way, and let things go as they 
liked. What he had expected happened — the king 
received his sister and wedded her at once, but repented 
it after the first night, as he could scarcely put down his 
foot in the morning for all the toads that were about the 
room, and when he saw her real face he was so enraged 
against the brother that he had him thrown into a pit full 
of serpents. He was so angry, not merely because he had 
been deceived, but because he could not get rid of the 
ugly wretch that was now tied to him for life. 

Now we shall hear a little about Maiden Bright-eye. 
When she fell into the water she was fortunate enough 
to get the bergman's cap put on her head, for now she 
was in danger of her life, and she was at once transformed 
into a duck. The duck swam away after the ship, and 
came to the king's palace on the next evening. There it 
waddled up the drain, and so into the kitchen, where her 
little dog lay on the hearth-stone ; it could not bear to 
stay in the fine chambers along with the ugly sister, and 
had taken refuge down here. The duck hopped up till it 
could talk to the dog. 

' Good evening,' it said. 

* Thanks, Maiden Bright-eye,' said the dog. 

' Where is my brother? ' 

' He is in the serpent-pit.' 

' Where is nry wicked sister? ' 

4 She is with the noble king.' 

' Alas ! alas ! I am here this evening, and shall be for 
two evenings yet, and then I shall never come again.' 

When it had said this the duck waddled off again. 
Several of the servant girls heard the conversation, and 
were greatly surprised at it, and thought that it would be 
worth while to catch the bird next evening and see into 
the matter a little more closely. They had heard it say 
that it would come again. 

Next evening it appeared as it had said, and a great 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



MAIDEN BRIGHT- EYE 295 

many were present to see it. It came waddling in by the 
drain, and went up to the dog, which was lying on the 
hearth-stone. 

* Good evening,' it said. 

4 Thanks, Maiden Bright-eye,' said the dog. 

' Where is my brother? ' 

4 He is in the serpent-pit.' 

c Where is my wicked sister? ' 

' She is with the noble king.' 

L Alas ! alas ! I am here this evening, and shall be for 
one evening yet, and then I shall never come again.' 

After this it slipped out, and no one could get hold of 
it. But the king's cook thought to himself, • I shall see 
if I can't get hold of you to-morrow evening.' 

On the third evening the duck again came waddling 
in by the drain, and up to the dog on the hearth-stone. 

4 Good evening,' it said. 

' Thanks, Maiden Bright-eye,' said the dog. 

' Where is my brother ? ' 

' He is in the serpent-pit.' 

' Where is my wicked sister ? ' 

c She is with the noble king.' 

' Alas ! alas ! now I shall never come again.' 

With this it slipped out again, but in the meantime 
the cook had posted himself at the outer end of the drain 
with a net, which he threw over it as it came out. In 
this way he caught it, and came in to the others with 
the most beautiful duck they had ever seen — with so many 
golden feathers on it that everyone marvelled. No 
one, however, knew what was to be done with it; but 
after what they had heard they knew that there was 
something uncommon about it, so they took good care 
of it. 

At this time the brother in the serpent-pit dreamed 
that his right sister had come swimming to the king's 
palace in the shape of a duck, and that she could not 
regain her own form until her beak was cut off. He got 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



296 MAIDEN BRIGHT-EYE 

this dream told to some one, so that the king at last came 
to hear of it, and had him taken up out of the pit and 
brought before him. The king then asked him if he could 
produce to him his sister as beautiful as he had formerly 
described her. The brother said he could if they would 
bring him the duck and a knife. 

Both of them were brought to him, and he said, <1 
wonder how you would look if I were to cut the point off 
your beak.' 

With this he cut a piece off the beak, and there came 
a voice which said, " Oh, oh, you cut my little finger! ' 

Next moment Maiden Bright-eye stood there, as lovely 
and beautiful as he had seen her when he was home. 
This was his sister now, he said; and the whole story 
now came out of how the other had behaved to her. The 
wicked sister was put into a barrel with spikes round it, 
which was dragged off by six wild horses, and so she came 
to her end. But the king was delighted with Maiden 
Bright-eye, and immediately made her his queen, while 
her brother became his prime minister. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



297 



THE MERRY WIVES 1 

There lay three houses in a row, in one of which there 
lived a tailor, in another a carpenter, and in a third a 
smith. All three were married, and their wives were 
very good friends. They often talked about how stupid 
their husbands were, but they could never agree as to 
which of them had the most stupid one ; each one stuck 
up for her own husband, and maintained that it was he. 

The three wives went to church together every 
Sunday, and had a regular good gossip on the way, and 
when they were coming home from church they always 
turned into the tavern which lay by the wayside and 
drank half a pint together. This was at the time when 
half a pint of brandy cost threepence, so that was just a 
penny from each of them. 

But the brandy went up iu price, and the taverner 
said that he must have fourpence for the half-pint. 

They were greatly annoyed at this, for there were 
only the three of them to share it, and none of them was 
willing to pay the extra penny. 

As they went home from the church that da} 7 they 
decided to wager with each other as to whose husband 
was the most stupid, and the one who, on the following 
Sunday, should be judged to have played her husband 
the greatest trick should thereafter go free from paying, 
and each of the two others would give twopence for their 
Sunday's half-pint. 

1 From the Danish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



298 THE MERRY WIVES 

Next day the tailor's wife said to her husband, 4 1 
have some girls coming to-day to help to card my wool ; 
there is a great deal to do, and we must be very busy. I 
am so annoyed that our watchdog is dead, for in the 
evening the young fellows will come about to get fun 
with the girls, and they will get nothing done. If we 
had only had a fierce watchdog he would have kept them 
away.' 

1 Yes,' said the man, ' that would have been a good 
thing.' 

4 Listen, good man,' said the wife, ' } T ou must just be 
the watchdog yourself, and scare the fellows away from 
the house.' 

The husband was not very sure about this, although 
otherwise he was always ready to give in to her. 

4 Oh yes, you will see it will work all right/ said the 
wife. 

And so towards evening she got the tailor dressed up 
in a shaggy fur coat, tied a black woollen cloth round his 
head, and chained him up beside the dog's kennel. 

There he stood and barked and growled at everyone 
that moved in his neighbourhood. The neighbour wives 
knew all about this, and were greatly amused at it. 

On the day after this the carpenter had been out at 
work, and came home quite merry ; but as soon as he 
entered the house his wife clapped her hands together 
and cried, ' My dear, what makes you look like that? 
You are ill.' 

The carpenter knew nothing about being ill ; he only 
thought that he wanted something to eat, so he sat down 
at the table and began his dinner. 

His wife sat straight in front of him, with her hands 
folded, and shook her head, and looked at him with an 
anxious air. 

4 You are getting worse, my dear,' she said; 'you are 
quite pale now ; you have a serious illness about you ; I 
can see it by your looks.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE MERRY WIVES 299 

The husband now began to grow anxious, and thought 
that perhaps he was not quite well. 

4 No, indeed,' said she ; ' it 's high time that you were in 
bed.' 

She then got him to lie down, and piled above him 
all the bedclothes she could find, and gave him various 
medicines, while he grew worse and worse. 

' You will never get over it/ said she ; 'Iain afraid 
you are going to die.' 

'Do you think so?' said the carpenter; 'I can well 
believe it, for I am indeed very poorly.' 

In a little while she said again, ' Ah, now I must part 
with you. Here comes Death. Now I must close your 
eyes.' And she did so. 

The carpenter believed everything that his wife said, 
and so he believed now that he was dead, and lay still 
and let her do as she pleased. 

She got her neighbours summoned, and they helped 
to la} 7 him in the coffin — it was one of those he himself 
had made ; but his wife had bored holes in it to let him 
get some air. She made a soft bed under him, and put a 
coverlet over him, and she folded his hands over his 
breast; but instead of a flower or a psalm-book she gave 
him a pint-bottle of brandy in his hands. After he had 
lain for a little he took a little pull at this, and then 
another and another, and he thought this did him good, 
and soon he was sleeping sweetly, and dreaming that he 
was in heaven. 

Meanwhile word had gone round the village that the 
carpenter was dead, and was to be buried next day. 

It was now the turn of the smith's wife. Her hus- 
band was lying sleeping off the effects of a drinking bout, 
so she pulled off all his clothes and made him black as 
coal from head to foot, and then let him sleep till far on 
in the day. 

The funeral party had already met at the carpen- 
ter's, and marched off towards the church with the 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



300 THE MERRY WIVES 

coffin, when the smith's wife came rushing in to her 
husband. 

w Gracious, man/ said she, 'you are lying 'there yet? 
You are sleeping too long. You know you are going to 
the funeral.' 

The smith was quite confused ; he knew nothing about 
any funeral. 

4 It 's our neighbour the carpenter,' said his wife, 4 who 
is to be buried to-day. They are already half-way to 
church with him.' 

4 All right,' said the smith, 'make haste to help me on 
with my black clothes.' 

4 What nonsense ! ' said his wife, 4 you have them on 
already. Be off with you now.' 

The smith looked down at his person and saw that he 
was a good deal blacker than he usually was, so he caught 
up his hat and ran out after the funeral. This was 
already close to the church, and the smith wanted to take 
part in carrying the coffin, like a good neighbour. So be 
ran with all his might, and shouted after them, ' Hey ! 
wait a little ; let me get a hold of him ! ' 

The people turned round and saw the black figure 
coming, and thought it was the devil himself, who wanted 
to get hold of the carpenter, so they threw down the 
coffin and took to their heels. 

The lid sprang off the coffin with the shock, and the 
carpenter woke up and looked out. He remembered the 
whole affair ; he knew that he was dead and was going 
to be buried, and recognising the smith, he said to him, 
in a low voice, 4 My good neighbour, if I had n't been dead 
already, I should have laughed myself to death now to 
see you coming like this to my funeral.' 

From that time forth the carpenter's wife drank free 
of expense every Sunday, for the others had to admit that 
she had fooled her husband the best. 



Digitized by Microsoft © 



301 



KING LINDORM* 

There once lived a king and a queen who ruled over a 
very great kingdom. They had large revenues, and lived 
happily with each other; but, as the years went past, the 
king's heart became heavy, because the queen had no 
children. She also sorrowed greatly over it, because, 
although the king said nothing to her about this trouble, 
yet she could see that it vexed him that they had no heir 
to the kingdom; and she wished every day that she 
might have one. 

One day a poor old woman came to the castle and 
asked to speak with the queen. The royal servants 
answered that they could not let such a poor beggar- 
woman go in to their royal mistress. They offered her a 
penny, and told her to go away Then the woman desired 
them to tell the queen that there stood at the palace gate 
one who would help her secret sorrow. This message was 
taken to the queen, who gave orders to bring the old 
woman to her. This was done, and the old woman said 
to her: 

' I know your secret sorrow, queen, and am come 
to help you in it. You wish to have a son ; you shall 
have two if you follow my instructions.' 

The queen was greatly surprised that the old woman 
knew her secret wish so well, and promised to follow her 
advice. 

fc You must have a bath set in your room, queen/ 

1 From the Swedish. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



302 KING LIXDORM 

said she, ' and filled with running water. When you 
have bathed in this you will find under the bath two red 
onions. These you must carefully peel and eat, and in 
time your wish will be ful filled. ' 

The queen did as the poor woman told her ; and after 
she had bathed she found the two onions under the bath. 
They were both alike in size and appearance. When she 
saw these she knew that the woman had been something 
more than she seemed to be, and in her delight she ate 
up one of the onions, skin and all. When she had done 
so she remembered that the woman had told her to 
peel them carefully before she ate them. It was now 
too late for the one of them, but she peeled the other and 
then ate it too. 

In due time it happened as the woman had said ; but 
the first that the queen gave birth to was a hideous 
lindorm, or serpent. No one saw this but her waiting- 
woman, who threw it out of the window into the forest 
beside the castle. The next that came into the world was 
the most beautiful little prince; and he was shown to 
the king and queen, who knew nothing about his brother 
the lindorm. 

There was now joy in all the palace and over the 
whole country on account of the beautiful prince; but 
no one knew that the queen's first-born was a lindorm, 
and lay in the wild forest. Time passed with the king, 
the queen, and the young prince in all happiness and 
prosperity, until he was twenty years of his age. Then 
his parents said to him that he should journey to another 
kingdom and seek for himself a bride, for they were 
beginning to grow old, and would fain see their son 
married before they were laid in their grave. The 
prince obeyed, had his horses harnessed to his gilded 
chariot, and set out to woo his bride. But when he came 
to the first cross-ways there lay a huge and terrible 
lindorm right across the road, so that his horses had to 
come to a standstill. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



KING LIXDORM 303 

' Where are you driving to ? ' asked the lindorm with 
a hideous voice. 

' That does not concern you,' said the prince. ' I arn 
the prince, and can drive where I please.' 

' Turn back/ said the lindorm. ' I know your errand, 
but you shall get no bride until I have got a mate and 
slept by her side.' 

The prince turned home again, and told the king and 
the queen what he had met at the cross-roads ; but they 
thought that he should try again on the following day, 
and see whether he could not get past it, so that he might 
seek a bride in another kingdom. 

The prince did so, but got no further than the first 
cross-roads; there lay the lindorm again, who stopped 
him in the same way as before. 

The same thing happened on the third day when the 
prince tried to get past : the lindorm said, with a threaten- 
ing voice, that before the prince could get a bride he 
himself must find a mate. 

"When the king and queen heard this for the third 
time they could think of no better plan than to invite 
the lindorm to the palace, and they would find him a 
mate. They thought that a lindorm would be quite well 
satisfied with anyone that they might give him, and so 
they would get some slave-woman to marry the monster. 
The lindorm came to the palace and received a bride of 
this kind, but in the morning she lay torn in pieces. So 
it happened every time that the king and queen com- 
pelled any woman to be his bride. 

The report of this soon spread over all the country. 
Now it happened that there was a man who had married 
a second time, and his wife heard of the lindorm with 
great delight. Her husband had a daughter by his first 
wife who was more beautiful than all other maidens, 
and so gentle and good that she won the heart of all who 
knew her. His second wife, however, had also a grown- 
up daughter, who by herself would have been ugly and 

Digitized by Microsoft® 



304 KING LIN DORM 

disagreeable enough, but beside her good and beautiful 
stepsister seemed still more ugly and wicked, so that all 
turned from her with loathing. 

The stepmother had long been annoyed that her 
husband's daughter was so much more beautiful than 
her own, and in her heart she conceived a bitter hatred 
for her stepdaughter. When she now heard that there 
was in the king's palace a lindorm which tore in pieces 
all the women that were married to him, and demanded 
a beautiful maiden for his bride, she went to the king, 
and said that her stepdaughter wished to wed the 
lindorm, so that the country's only prince might travel 
and seek a bride. At this the king was greatly delighted, 
and gave orders that the young girl should be brought to 
the palace. 

When the messengers came to fetch her she was 
terribly frightened, for she knew that it was her wicked 
stepmother who in this way was aiming at her life. She 
begged that she might be allowed to spend another night 
in her father's house. This was granted her, and she 
went to her mother's grave. There she lamented her 
hard fate in being given over to the lindorm, and 
earnestly prayed her mother for counsel. How long she 
lay there by the grave and wept one cannot tell, but sure 
it is that she fell asleep and slept until the sun rose. 
Then she rose up from the grave, quite happy at heart, 
and began to search about in the fields. There she found 
three nuts, which she carefully put away in her pocket. 

L When I come into very great danger I must break 
one of these,' she said to herself. Then she went home, 
and set out quite willingly with the king's messengers. 

When these arrived at the palace with the beautiful 
3 T oung maiden everyone pitied her fate; but she herself 
was of good courage, and asked the queen for another 
bridal chamber than the one the lindorm had had before. 
She got this, and then she requested them to put a pot 
full of strong lye on the fire and lay down three new 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



KIXG LINDORM 305 

scrubbing brushes. The queen gave orders that every- 
thing should be done as she desired ; and then the 
maiden dressed herself in seven clean snow-white shirts, 
and held her wedding with the lindorm. 

When they were left alone in the bridal chamber the 
lindorm, in a threatening voice, ordered her to undress 
herself. 

' Undress yourself first! ' said she. 

4 None of the others bade me do that,' said he in 
surprise. 

4 But I bid you,' said she. 

Then the lindorm began to writhe, and groan, and 
breathe heavily ; and after a little he had cast his outer 
skin, which lay on the floor, hideous to behold. Then 
his bride took off one of her snow-white shirts, and cast 
it on the lindorm's skin. Again he ordered her to un- 
dress, and again she commanded him to do so first. He 
had to obey, and with groaning and pain cast off one 
skin after another, and for each skin the maiden threw 
off one of her shirts, until there lay on the floor seven 
lindorm skins and six snow-white shirts; the seventh 
she still had on. The lindorm now lay before her as a 
formless, slimy mass, which she with all her might 
began to scrub with the lye and new scrubbing brushes. 

When she had nearly worn out the last of these there 
stood before her the loveliest youth in the world. He 
thanked her for having saved him from his enchantment, 
and told her that he was the king and queen's eldest son, 
and heir to the kingdom. Then he asked her whether 
she would keep the promise she had made to the lindorm, 
to share everything with him. To this she was well 
content to answer 4 Yes.' 

Each time that the lindorm had held his wedding one 
of the king's retainers was sent next morning to open 
the door of the bridal chamber and see whether the 
bride was alive. This next morning also he peeped in 
at the door, but what he saw there surprised him so 

20 

Digitized by Microsoft® 



306 KING LINDORM 

much that he shut the door in a hurry, and hastened to 
the king and queen, who were waiting for his report. 
He told them of the wonderful sight he had seen. On 
the floor la} T seven lindorm skins and six snow-white 
shirts, and beside these three worn-out scrubbing 
brushes, while in the bed a beautiful youth was lying 
asleep beside the fair "young maiden. 

The king and queen marvelled greatly what this could 
mean ; but just then the old woman who was spoken of 
in the beginning of the story was again brought in to 
the queen. She reminded her how she had not followed 
her instructions, but had eaten the first onion with all 
its skins, on which account her first-born had been a 
lindorm. The waiting-woman was then summoned, and 
admitted that she had thrown it out through the window 
into the forest. The king and queen now sent for their 
eldest son and his young bride. They took them both 
in their arms, and asked him to tell about his sorrowful 
lot during the twenty years he had lived in the forest as 
a hideous lindorm. This he did, and then his parents 
had it proclaimed over the whole country that he was 
their eldest son, and along with his spouse should inherit 
the country and kingdom after them. 

Prince Lindorm and his beautiful wife now lived in 
joy and prosperity for a time in the palace ; and when 
his father was laid in the grave, not long after this, he 
obtained the whole kingdom. Soon afterwards his 
mother also departed from this world. 

Now it happened that an enemy declared war against 
the young king ; and, as he foresaw that it would be three 
years at the least before he could return to his country 
and his queen, he ordered all his servants who remained 
at home to guard her most carefully. That they might 
be able to write to each other in confidence, he had two 
seal rings made, one for himself and one for his 3 T onng 
queen, and issued an order that no one, under pain of 
death, was to open any letter that was sealed with one of 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



308 KING LINDORM 

these. Then he took farewell of his queen, and marched 
out to war. 

The queen's wicked stepmother had heard with great 
grief that her beautiful stepdaughter had prospered so 
well that she had not only preserved her life, but had 
even become queen of the country. She now plotted 
continually how she might destroy her good fortune. 
While King Lindorm was away at the war the wicked 
woman came to the queen, and spoke fair to her, saying 
that she had always foreseen that her stepdaughter was 
destined to be something great in the world, and that 
she had on this account secured that she should be 
the enchanted prince's bride. The queen, who did not 
imagine that any person could be so deceitful, bade her 
stepmother welcome, and kept her beside her. 

Soon after this the queen had two children, the 
prettiest boys that anyone could see. When she had written 
a letter to the king to tell him of this her stepmother 
asked leave to comb her hair for her, as her own mother 
used to do. The queen gave her permission, and the 
stepmother combed her hair until she fell asleep. Then 
she took the seal ring off her neck, and exchanged the 
letter for another, in which she had written that the queen 
had given birth to two whelps. 

When the king received this letter he was greatly 
distressed, but he remembered how he himself had lived 
for twenty years as a lindorm, and had been freed from 
the spell b} T his young queen. He therefore wrote back 
to his most trusted retainer that the queen and her two 
whelps should be taken care of while he was away. 

The stepmother, however, took this letter as well, 
and wrote a new one, in which the king ordered that the 
queen and the two little princes should be burnt at the 
stake. This she also sealed with the queen's seal, which 
was in all respects like the king's. 

The retainer was greatly shocked and grieved at the 
king's orders, for which he could discover no reason; but, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



KING LI X DORM 300 

as he bad not the heart to destroy three innocent beings, 
he had a great fire kindled, and ::i this he burned a sheep 
and two lambs, so as to make people believe that he had 
carried out the king's commands. The stepmother had 
made these known to the people, adding that the queen 
was a wicked sorceress. 

The faithful servant, however, told the queen that it 
was the king's command that during the years he was 
absent in the war she should keep herself concealed in 
the castle, so that no one but himself should see her and 
the little princes. 

The queen obeyed, and no one knew but that both 
she and her children had been burned. But when the 
time came near for King Lindorm to return home from 
the war the old retainer grew frightened because he had 
not obeyed his orders, lie therefore went to the queen, 
and told her everything, at the same time showing her 
the king's letter containing the command to burn her and 
the princes. He then begged her to leave the palace 
before the king returned. 

The queen now took her two little sons, and wandered 
out into the wild forest. They walked all da} T without 
finding a human habitation, and became very tired. The 
queen then caught sight of a man who carried some 
venison. lie seemed very poor and wretched, but the 
queen was glad to see a human being, and asked him 
whether he knew where she and her little children could 
get a house over their heads for the night. 

The man answered that he had a little hut in the 
forest, and that she could rest there ; but he also said 
that lie was one who lived entirely apart from men, and 
owned no more than the hut, a horse, and a dog, and 
supported himself by hunting. 

The queen followed him to the hut and rested there 
overnight with her children, and when she awoke in the 
morning the man had already gone out hunting. The 
queen then began to put the room in order and prepare 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



310 KIXG L1KDORM 

food, so that when the man came home he found every- 
thing neat and tidy, and this seemed to give him some 
pleasure. He spoke but little, however, and all that he 
said about himself was that his name was Peter. 

Later in the day he rode out into the forest, and the 
queen thought that he looked very unhappy. While he 
was away she looked about her in the hut a little more 
closely, and found a tub full of shirts stained with blood, 
lying among water. She was surprised at this, but 
thought that the man would get the blood on his shirt 
when he was carrying home venison. She washed the 
shirts, and hung them up to dry, and said nothing to 
Peter about the matter. 

After some time had passed she noticed that every 
day he came riding home from the forest he took off a 
blood-stained shirt and put on a clean one. She then 
saw that it was something else than the blood of the deer 
that stained his shirts, so one day she took courage and 
asked him about it. 

At first he refused to tell her, but she then related to 
him her own story, and how she had succeeded in deliver- 
ing the lindorm. He then told her that he had formerly 
lived a wild life, and had finally entered into a written com- 
pact with the Evil Spirit. Before this contract had expired 
he had repented and turned from his evil ways, and with- 
drawn himself to this solitude. The Evil One had then 
lost all power to take him, but so long as he had the 
contract he could compel him to meet him in the forest 
each da} T at a certain time, where the evil spirits then 
scourged him till he bled. 

Xext day, when the time came for the man to 
ride into the forest, the queen asked him to stay at home 
and look after the princes, and she would go to meet the 
evil spirits in his place. The man was amazed, and said 
that this would not only cost her her life, but would also 
bring upon him a greater misfortune than the one he was 
already under. She bade him be of good courage, looked 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



KING LI X DORM 311 

to see that she bad the three nuts which she had found 
beside her mother's grave, mounted her horse, and rode 
out into the forest. AVhen she had ridden for some time 
the evil spirits came forth and said, fc Here comes Peter's 
horse and Peter's hound ; but Peter himself is not with 
them.' 

Then at a distance she heard a terrible voice demand- 
ing to know what she wanted. 

i I have come to get Peter's contract,' said she. 

At this there arose a terrible uproar among the evil 
spirits, and the worst voice among them all said, ; Ride 
home and tell Peter that when he comes to-morrow he 
shall get twice as many strokes as usual.' 

The queen then took one of her nuts and cracked it, 
and turned her horse about. At this sparks of fire flew 
out of all the trees, and the evil spirits howled as if they 
were being scourged back to their abode. 

Next day at the same time the queen again rode out 
into the forest ; but on this occasion the spirits did not 
dare to come so near her. They would not, however, 
give up the contract, but threatened both her and the 
man. Then she cracked her second nut, and all the 
forest behind her seemed to be in fire and flames, and the 
evil spirits howled even worse than on the previous day ; 
but the contract they would not give up. 

The queen had only one nut left now, but even that 
she was ready to give up in order to deliver the man. 
This time she cracked the nut as soon as she came near 
the place where the spirits appeared; and what then 
happened to them she could not see, but amid wild 
screams and howls the contract was handed to her at the 
end of a long branch. The queen rode happy home to the 
hut. and happier still was the man. who had been sitting 
there in great anxiety, for now he was freed from all the 
power of the evil spirits. 

Meanwhile King Lindorm had come home from the 
war, and the first question he asked when he entered the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



312 K1XG LI X DORM 

palace was about the queen and the whelps. The atten- 
dants were surprised : they knew of no whelps. The 
queen had had two beautiful princes ; but the king had 
sent orders that all these were to be burned. 

The king grew pale with sorrow and anger, and 
ordered them to summon his trusted retainer, to whom 
he had sent the instructions that the queen and the 
whelps were to be carefully looked after. The retainer, 
however, showed him the letter in which there was 
written that the queen and her children were to be burned, 
and everyone then understood that some great treachery 
had been enacted. 

When the king's trusted retainer saw his master's 
deep sorrow he confessed to him that he had spared 
the lives of the queen and the princes, and had only burned 
a sheep and two lambs, and had kept the queen and her 
children hidden in the palace for three years, but had sent 
her out into the wild forest just when the king was 
expected home. When the king heard this his sorrow 
was lessened, and he said that he would wander out into 
the forest and search for his wife and children. If he 
found them he would return to his palace ; but if he did 
not find them he would never see it again, and in that 
case the faithful retainer who had saved the lives of the 
queen and the princes should be king in his stead. 

The king then went forth alone into the wild forest, 
and wandered there the whole day without seeing a 
single human being. So it went with him the second day 
also, but on the third day he came by roundabout ways 
to the little hut. He went in there, and asked for leave 
to rest himself for a little on the bench. The queen and 
the princes were there, but she was poorly clad and so 
sorrowful that the king did not recognise her, neither did 
he think for a moment that the two children, who were 
dressed only in rough skins, were his own sons. 

He lay down on the bench, and, tired as he was, 
he soon fell asleep. The bench Avas a narrow one, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



3U KING LIXD01UI 

and as he slept his arm fell down and hung by the 
side of it. 

4 My son, go and lift your father's arm up on the 
bench,' said the queen to one of the princes, for she easily 
knew the king again, although she was afraid to make 
herself known to him. The bo} T went and took the king's 
arm, but, being only a child, he did not lift it up very gently 
on to the bench. 

The king w T oke at this, thinking at first that he had 
fallen into a den of robbers, but he decided to keep quiet 
and pretend that he was asleep until he should find out 
what kind of folk were in the house. lie lay still for a 
little, and, as no one moved in the room, he again let his 
arm glide down off the bench. Then he heard a woman's 
voice say, ' My son, go you and lift 3'our father's arm up 
on the bench, but don't do it so roughly as your brother 
did.' Then he felt a pair of little hands softly clasping 
his arm ; he opened his eyes, and saw his queen and her 
children. 

He sprang up and caught all three in his arms, and 
afterwards took them, along with the man and his horse 
and his hound, back to the palace with great joy. The 
most unbounded rejoicing reigned there then, as well as 
over the whole kingdom, but the wicked stepmother was 
burned. 

King Lindorm lived long and happily with his queen, 
and there are some who say that if they are not dead now 
they are still living to this day. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



315 



THE JACKAL, THE DOVE, AND 
THE PANTHER 1 



There was once a dove who built a nice soft nest as a 
borne for her three little ones. She was very proud of 
their beauty, and perhaps talked about them to her 
neighbours more than she need have done, till at last every- 
body for miles round knew where the three prettiest 
baby doves in the whole country side were to be found. 

One day a jackal who was prowling about in search 
of a dinner came by chance to the foot of the rock where 
the dove's nest was hidden away, and he suddenly 
bethought himself that if he could get nothing better he 
might manage to make a mouthful of one of the young 
doves. So he shouted as loud as he could, ' Ohe, ohe, 
mother dove.' 

And the do\e replied, trembling with fear, 'What do 
you want, sir? ' 

'One of your children,' said he; 'and if you don't 
throw it to me I will eat up you and the others as well.' 

Xow, the dove was nearly driven distracted at the 
jackal's words ; but, in order to save the lives of the other 
two, she did at last throw the little one out of the nest. 
The jackal ate it up, and went home to sleep. 

Meanwhile the mother dove sat on the edge of her 
nest, crying bitterly, when a heron, who was Hying slowly 

l Contes populates cles Bassoulos. Keeueillis et trailuits par 
E. Jacottet. Paris: Leroux, Editeur. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



31G THE JACKAL, DOVE, AND PANTHER 

past the rock, was filled with pity for her, and stopped to 
ask, fc What is the matter, you poor dove?' 

And the dove answered, * A jackal came by, and asked 
me to give him one of my little ones, and said that if I 
refused he would jump on my nest and eat us all up.' 

But the heron replied, ' You should not have believed 
him. lie could never have jumped so high. He only 
deceived you because he wanted something for supper. ' 
And with these words the heron flew off. 

He had hardly got out of sight when again the jackal 
came creeping slowly round the foot of the rock. And 
when he saw the dove he cried out a second time, ' Ohe, 
ohe, mother dove ! give me one of your little ones, or I 
Avill jump o\\ your r_e> t and cat you ail up.' 

This time the dove knew better, and she answered 
boldly, ' Indeed, I shall do nothing of the sort/ though 
her heart beat wildly with fear when she saw the jackal 
preparing for a spring. 

However, he only cut himself against the rock, and 
thought he had better stick to threats, so he started 
again with his old cry, 4 Mother dove, mother dove ! be 
quick and give me one of your little ones, or I will eat 
you all up.' 

But the mother dove only answered as before, i Indeed, 
I shall do nothing of the sort, for I know we are safely 
out of your reach.' 

The jackal felt it was quite hopeless to get what he 
wanted, and asked, ' Tell me, mother dove, how have you 
suddenly become so wise?' 

4 It was the heron who told me,' replied she. 

4 And which way did he go?' said the jackal. 

' Down there among the reeds. You can see him if 
3 t ou look,' said the dove. 

Then the jackal nodded good-bye, and went quickly 
after the heron. He soon came up to the great bird, who 
was standing on a stone on the edge of the river watching 
for a nice fat fish. 'Tell me, heron,' said he, 'when the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE JACKAL, DOVE, AXD PANTHER 317 

wind blows from that quarter, to which side do you 
turn ? ' 

' And which side do you turn to?' asked the heron. 

The jackal answered, ' I always turn to this side.' 

' Then that is the side /turn to,' remarked the heron. 

' And when the rain comes from that quarter, which 
side do you turn to?' 

And the heron replied, ; And which side do you turn 
to?' 

' Oh, /always turn to this side,' said the jackal. 

4 Then that is the side /turn to,' said the heron. 

' And when the rain comes straight down, what do 
you do ? ' 

4 What do you do yourself? ' asked the heron. 

4 I do this,' answered the jackal. l I cover my head 
with my paw;-'.' 

'Then that is what I d >,' caid tie heron. <■ I cover 
my head with my wings,' and as he spoke he lifted his 
large wings and spread them completely over his head. 

With one bound the jackal had seized him by the 
neck, and began to shake him. 

fc Oh, have pity, have pity ! ' cried the heron. ' 1 never 
did you any harm.' 

4 You told the dove how to get the better of me, and I 
am going to eat you for it.' 

'But if you will let me go,' entreated the heron, 'I 
will show you the place Avhere the panther las her lair.' 

4 Then you hud better be quick about it,' said the 
jackal, holding tight on to the heron until he had pointed 
out the panther's den. ' Now you may go, my friend, for 
there is plenty of food here for me.' 

So the jackal came up to the panther, and asked 
politely, ' Panther, would you like me to look after your 
children while you are out hunting? ' 

k I should be very much obliged,' said the panther; 
1 but be sure you take care of them. They always cry all 
the time that I am away.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



318 THE JACKAL, DOVE, AXD PANTHER 

So saying she trotted off, and the jackal marched into 
the cave, where lie found ten little panthers, and instantly 
ate one up. By-and-bye the panther returned from 
hunting, and said to him, ' Jackal, bring out my little 
ones for their supper.' 

The jackal fetched them out one by one till he had 
brought out nine, and he took the last one and brought 
it out again, so the whole ten seemed to be there, and the 
panther was quite satisfied. 

Next day she went again to the chase, and the jackal 
ate up another little panther, so now there were only 
eight. In the evening, when she came back, the panther 
said, ' Jackal, bring out my little ones ! ' 

And the jackal brought out first one and then another, 
and the last one he brought out three times, so that the 
whole ten seemed to be there. 

The following day the same thing happened, and the 
next and the next and the next, till at length there was 
not even one left, and the rest of the day the jackal busied 
himself with digging a large hole at the back of the den. 

That night, when the panther returned from hunting, 
she said to him as usual, ' Jackal, bring out my little 
ones.' 

But the jackal replied : ' Bring out your little ones, 
indeed ! Why, you know as well as I do that you have 
eaten them all up.' 

Of course the panther had not the least idea what the 
jackal meant by this, and only repeated, 'Jackal, bring 
out my children.' As she got no answer she entered the 
cave, but found no jackal, for he had crawled through the 
hole he had made and escaped. And, what was worse, 
she did not find the little ones either. 

]N T ow the panther was not going to let the jackal get 
off like that, and set off at a trot to catch him. The 
jackal, however, had got a good start, and he reached a 
place where a swarm of bees deposited their honey in the 
cleft of a rock. Then he stood still and waited till the 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE JACKAL, DOVE, AXD PANTHER 319 

panther came up to him: 'Jackal, where are my little 
ones? ' she asked. 

And the jackal answered : i They are up there. It 
is where I keep school.' 

The panther looked about, and then inquired, 'But 
where? I see nothing of them/ 




• THE«BHB0ON»VlSHES*TO" J SEE*THE'FftNTHEKi5-CHlLWlEN* 



4 Come a little this way,' said the jackal, 'and you will 
hear how beautifully they sing.' 

So the panther drew near the cleft of the rock. 

4 Don't you hear them?' said the jackal; L they are in 
there,' and slipped away while the panther was listening 
to the song of the children. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



320 TILE JACKAL, DOVE, AND PANTHER 

She was still standing in the same place when a 
baboon went by. ' What are you doing there, panther? 7 

4 I am listening to my children singing. It is here 
that the jackal keeps his school.' 

Then the baboon seized a stick, and poked it in the 
cleft of a rock, exclaiming, ' Well, then, I should like to 
see your children ! ' 

The bees flew out in a huge swarm, and made furiously 
for the panther, whom they attacked on all sides, while 
the baboon soon climbed up out of the way, crying, as he 
perched himself on the branch of a tree, ' I wish you joy 
of your children ! ' while from afar the jackal's voice was 
heard exclaiming: fc Sting her well ! don't let her go! ' 

The panther galloped away as if she was mad, and 
flung herself into the nearest lake, but every time she 
raised her head, the bees stung her afresh, so at last the 
poor beast was drowned altogether. 



Digitized by Microsoft © 



321 



THE LITTLE II ABE 1 



A long, long vray off, in a land where water is very 
scarce, there lived a man and his wife and several 
children. One day the wife said to her husband, ' I am 
pining to have the liver of a nyamatsane for my dinner. 
If you love me as much as you say you do, you will go 
out and hunt for a nyamatsane, and will kill it and get its 
liver. If not, I shall know that your love is not worth 
having.' 

' Bake some bread,' was all her husband answered, 
' then take the crust and put it in this little bag.' 

The wife did as she was told, and when she had 
finished she sahl to her husband, ' The bag is all ready 
and quite full.' 

4 Very well,' said he, ' and now good-lrye; I am going 
after the nyamatsane. 9 

But the vyamatsave was not so easy to find as the 
woman had hoped. The husband walked on and on and 
on without ever seeing one, and every now and then he 
felt so hungry that he was obliged to eat one of the crusts 
of bread out of his bag. At last, when he was ready to 
drop from fatigue, he found himself on the edge of a 
great marsh, which bordered on one side the country of 
the vyamatsaves. But there were no more nyamatsanes 
here than anywhere else. They had all gone on a hunt- 

1 Contes populaires des Bassontos. Uecueillis et tracluits par E. 
Jacottct. Paris : Leroux, Editeur. 

21 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



322 THE LITTLE HARE 

ing expedition, as their larder was empty, and the only 
person left at home was their grandmother, who was so 
feeble she never went out of the house. Our friend 
looked on this as a great piece of luck, and made haste 
to kill her before the others returned, and to take out her 
liver, after which he dressed himself in her skin as well 
as he could. He had scarcely done this when he heard 
the noise of the nyamatsanes coming back to their grand- 
mother, for they were very fond of her, and never stayed 
away from her longer than they could help. They rushed 
clattering into the hut, exclaiming, ' We smell human 
flesh ! Some man is here/ and began to look about for 
him ; but they only saw their old grandmother, who 
answered, in a trembling voice, ' No, my children, no! 
What should any man be doing here? ' The nyamatsanes 
paid no attention to her, and began to open all the cup- 
boards, and peep under all the beds, crying out all the 
while, k A man is here! a man is here!' but they could 
find nobody, and at length, tired out with their long day's 
hunting, they curled themselves up and fell asleep. 

Next morning they woke up quite refreshed, and 
made ready to start on another expedition ; but as they 
did not feel happy about their grandmother they said to 
her, ' Grandmother, won't you come to-day and feed 
with us?' And they led their grandmother outside, and 
all of them began hungrily to eat pebbles. Our friend 
pretended to do the same, but in realit} 7 he slipped the 
stones into his pouch, and swallowed the crusts of bread 
instead. However, as the nyamatsanes did not see this 
they had no idea that he was not really their grand- 
mother. When they had eaten a great many pebbles 
they thought they had done enough for that day, and all 
went home together and curled themselves up to sleep. 
Next morning when they awoke they said, ' Let ns go and 
amuse ourselves by jumping over the ditch,' and every 
time they cleared it with a bound. Then they begged 
their grandmother to jump over it too, and with a tremen- 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE LITTLE HARE 323 

dous effort she managed to spring right over to the other 
side. After this they had no doubt at all of its being 
their true grandmother, and went off to their hunting, 
leaving our friend at home in the hut. 

As soon as they had gone out of sight our hero made 
haste to take the liver from the plaee where he had hid 
it, threw off the skin of the old nyamatsane, and ran 
away as hard as he could, only stopping to pick up a 
very brilliant and polished little stone, which he put in 
his bag by the side of the liver. 

Towards evening the nyamatsanes came back to the 
hut full of anxiety to know how their grandmother had 
got on during their absence. The first thing they saw on 
entering the door was her skin lying on the floor, and 
then the} 7 knew that they had been deceived, and they 
said to each other, l So we were right, after all, and it 
was human flesh we smelt.' Then they stooped down to 
find traces of the man's footsteps, and when they had 
got them instantly set out in hot pursuit. 

Meanwhile our friend had journeyed many miles, and 
was beginning to feel quite safe and comfortable, when, 
happening to look round, he saw in the distance a thick 
cloud of dust moving rapidly. His heart stood still 
within him, and he said to himself, ' I am lost. It is the 
nyamatsanes, and they will tear me in pieces,' and 
indeed the cloud of dust was drawing near with amazing 
quickness, and the nyamatsanes almost felt as if they 
were already devouring him. Then as a last hope the 
man took the little stone that he had picked up out of 
his bag and flung it on the ground. The moment it 
touched the soil it became a huge rock, whose steep 
sides were smooth as glass, and on the top of it our hero 
hastily seated himself. It was in vain that the nyamat- 
sanes tried to climb up and reach him ; they slid down 
again much faster than they had gone up; and by sunset 
they were quite worn out, and fell asleep at the foot of 
the rock. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



324 THE LITTLE HARE 

No sooner had the nyamatsanes tumbled off to sleep 
than the man stole softly down and tied away as fast as 
his legs would carry him, and by the time his enemies were 
awake he was a very long way off. They sprang quickly 
to their feet and began to sniff the soil round the rock, 
in order to discover traces of his footsteps, and they 
galloped after him with terrific speed. The chase con- 
tinued for several da} T s and nights; several times the 
nyamatsanes almost reached him, and each time he was 
saved by his little pebble. 

Between his fright and his hurry he was almost dead 
of exhaustion when he reached his own village, where the 
nyamatsanes could not follow him, because of their 
enemies the dogs, which swarmed over all the roads. So 
they returned home. 

Then our friend staggered into his own hut and 
called to his wife : c Iehou ! how tired I am ! Quick, 
give me something to drink. Then go and get fuel and 
light a fire.' 

So she did what she was bid, and then her husband 
took the nyamatsanes liver from his pouch and said to her, 
4 There, I have brought you what you wanted, and now 
you know that I love you truly.' 

And the wife answered, 4 It is well. Now go and take 
out the children, so that 1 may remain alone in the hut,' 
and as she spoke she lifted down an old stone pot and 
put on the liver to cook. Her husband watched her for a 
moment, and then said, fc Be sure you eat it all yourself. 
Do not give a scrap to any of the children, but eat every 
morsel up/ So the woman took the liver and ate it all 
herself. 

Directly the last mouthful had disappeared she was 
seized with such violent thirst that she caught up a great 
pot full of water and drank it at a single draught. Then, 
having no more in the house, she ran in next door and 
said, ' Neighbour, give me, I pray you, something to 
drink/ The neighbour gave her a large vessel quite full, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE LITTLE HARE 



325 



and the woman drank it off at a single draught, and held 
it out for more. 

But the neighbour pushed her away, saying, ' No, I 
Bhall have none left for my children.' 

80 the woman went into another house, and drank all 
the water she could find; but the more she drank the more 
thirsty she became. She wandered in this manner 
through the whole village till she had drunk every 
water-pot dry. Then she rushed off to the nearest 




THE NYAM7VTSANES TIETUKN JTOUE 

spring, and swallowed that, and when she had finished all 
the springs and wells about she drank up first the river 
and then a lake. But by this time she had drunk so 
much that she could not rise from the ground. 

In the evening, when it was time for the animals to 
have their drink before going to bed, they found the lake 
quite dry, and they had to make up their minds to be 
thirsty till the water flowed again and the streams were 
full. Even then, for some time, the lake was very dirty, 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



326 THE LITTLE HARE 

and the lion, as king of the beasts, commanded that no 
one should drink till it was quite clear again. 

But the little hare, who was fond of having his 
own way, and was very thirsty besides, stole quietly off 
when all the rest were asleep in their dens, and crept 
down to the margin of the lake and drank his fill. Then 
he smeared the dirty water all over the rabbit's face and 
paws, so that it might look as if it were he who had been 
disobeying Big Lion's orders. 

The next day, as soon as it was light, Big Lion 
marched straight for the lake, and all the other beasts 
followed him. He saw at once that the water had been 
troubled again, and was very angry. 

; "Who has been drinking my water? ' said he ; and the 
little hare gave a jump, and, pointing to the rabbit, he 
answered, i Look there ! it must be he ! Why, there is 
mud all over his face and paws 1 ' 

The rabbit, frightened out of his wits, tried to deny the 
fact, exclaiming, ' Oh, no, indeed I never did ; ' but Big 
Lion would not listen, and commanded them to cane 
hi in with a birch rod. 

Now the little hare was very much pleased with his 
cleverness in causing the rabbit to be beaten instead of 
himself, and went about boasting of it. At last one of 
the other animals overheard him, and called out, 6 Little 
hare, little hare ! what is that you are saying? ' 

But the little hare hastily replied, ' I only asked you 
to pass me my stick/ 

An hour or two later, thinking that no one was near 
him, he said to himself again, ' It was really I who 
drank up the water, but I made them think it was the 
rabbit.' 

But one of the beasts whose ears were longer than the 
rest caught the words, and went to tell Big Lion about 
it. ' Do you hear what the little hare is saying?' 

So Big Lion sent for the little hare, and asked him 
what he meant by talking like that. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE LITTLE HARE 327 

The little hare saw that there was no use trying to 
hide it, so he answered pertly, fc It was I who drank the 
water, but I made them think it was the rabbit.' Then he 
turned and ran as fast as he could, with all the other 
beasts pursuing him. 

They were almost up to him when he dashed into a 
very narrow cleft in the rock, much too small for them 
to follow ; but in his hurry he had left one of his long 
ears sticking out, which they just managed to seize. But 
pull as hard as they might they could not drag him out 
of the hole, and at last they gave it up and left him, 
with his ear very much torn and scratched. 

When the last tail was out of sight the little hare 
crept cautiously out, and the first person he met was the 
rabbit. He had plenty of impudence, so he put a bold 
face on the matter, and said, i Well, my good rabbit, you 
see I have had a beating as well as you.' 

But the rabbit was still sore and sulky, and he did not 
care to talk, so he answered, coldly, l You have treated 
me very badly. It was really you who drank that water, 
and you accused me of having done it.' 

' Oh, my good rabbit, never mind that! I 've got such 
a wonderful secret to tell you ! Do yon know what to 
do so as to escape death?' 

' No, I don't.' 

' Well, we must begin by digging a hole.' 

So they dug a hole, and then the little hare said, ' The 
next thing is to make a fire in the hole,' and they set to 
work to collect wood, and lit quite a large fire. 

When it was burning brightly the little hare said to 
the rabbit, ' Rabbit, my friend, throw me into the fire, and 
when you hear my fur crackling, and I call " Itchi, Itchi," 
then be quick and pull mo out.' 

The rabbit did as he was told, and threw the little hare 
into the fire; but no sooner did the little hare begin to 
feel the heat of the flames than he took some green bay 
leaves he had plucked for the purpose and held them in 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



328 THE LITTLE HARE 

the middle of the fire, where they crackled and made a 
great noise. Then he called loudly ' Itchi, Itchi ! 
Rabbit, my friend, be quick, be quick ! Don't you hear 
how my skin is crackling? ' 

Anc] the rabbit came in a great hurry and pulled him 
out. 

Then the little hare said, ' Now it is your turn ! ' and 
he threw the rabbit in the fire. The moment the rabbit 
felt the flames he cried out 'Itchi, Itchi, I am burning; 
pull me out quick, my friend ! ' 

lint the little hare only laughed, and said, ' No, you 
may stay there! It is 3 T our own fault. Why were you 
such a fool as to let yourself be thrown in ? Did n't you 
know that fire burns? ' And in a very few minutes nothing 
was left of the rabbit but a few bones. 

AYhen the lire was quite out the little hare went and 
picked up one of these bones, and made a flute out of it, 
and sang this song: 

Pii, pii, O flute that I love, 

Pii, pii, rabbits are bat little boys. 

Pii, pii, he would have burned me if he could ; 

Pii, pii, but I burned him, and he crackled finely. 

AVhen he got tired of going through the world singing 
this the little hare went back to his friends and entered 
the service of Big Lion. One day he said to his master, 
'Grandfather, shall I show you a splendid way to kill 
game? ' 

' AVhat is it? ' asked Big Lion. 

' AVe must dig a ditch, and then you must lie in it and 
pretend to be dead/ 

Big Lion did as he was told, and when he had lain 
down the little hare got up on a wall blew a trumpet and 
shouted — 

Pii, pii, all you animals come and see, 
Big Lion is dead, and now peace w'ill be. 

Directly they heard this they all came running. The 
little hare received them and said, 'Pass on, this way 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE LITTLE HARE 



329 



to the lion.' So they all entered into the Animal King- 
dom. Last of all came the monkey with her baby on 
her back. She approached the ditch, and took a blade 
of grass and tickled Big Lion's nose, and his nostrils 
moved in spite of his efforts to keep them still. Then 
the monkey cried, ' Come, my baby, climb on my back 
and let us go. What sort of a dead body is it that can 
still feel when it is tickled? ' And she and her baby went 
away in a fright. Then the little hare said to the other 




beasts, 4 Now, shut the gate of the Animal Kingdom.' 
And it was shut, and great stones were rolled against it. 
When everything was tight closed the little hare turned 
to Big Lion and said ' Now ! ' and Big Lion bounded out 
of the ditch and tore the other animals in pieces. 

But Big Lion kept all the choice bits for himself, and 
only gave away the little scraps that he did not care about 
eating ; and the little hare grew very angry, and deter- 
mined to have his revenge. He had long ago found out 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



330 THE LITTLE HARE 

that Big Lion was very easily taken in ; so he laid his plans 
accordingly. He said to him, as if the idea had just 
come into his head, c Grandfather, let us build a hut,' and 
liig Lion consented. And when they had driven the 
stakes into the ground, and had made the walls of the 
hut, the little hare told Big Lion to climb upon the top 
while he stayed inside. When he was ready he called 
out, ' Now, grandfather, begin/ and Big Lion passed his 
rod through the reeds with which the roofs are always 
covered in that country. The little hare took it and cried, 
' Now it is my turn to pierce them,' and as he spoke he 
passed the rod back through the reeds and gave Big 
Lion's tail a sharp poke. 

'What is pricking me so?' asked Big Lion. 

' Oh, just a little branch sticking out. I am going to 
break it,' answered the little hare; but of course he had 
done it on purpose, as he wanted to fix Big Lion's tail so 
firmly to the hut that he would not be able to move. In 
a little while he gave another prick, and Big Lion called 
again, ' What is pricking me so?' 

This time the little hare said to himself, ' He will find 
out what I am at. I must try some other plan.' So he 
called out, * Grandfather, you had better put your tongue 
here, so that the branches shall not touch you.' Big 
Lion did as he was bid, and the little hare tied it tightly 
to the stakes of the wall. Then he went outside and 
shouted, ' Grandfather, you can come down now,' and 
Big Lion tried, but he could not move an inch. 

Then the little hare began quietly to eat Big Lion's 
dinner right before his e} T es, and paying no attention at 
all to his growls of rage. When he had quite done he 
climbed up on the hut, and, blowing his flute, he chanted 
c Pii, pii, fall rain and hail,' and directly the sky was full 
of clouds, the thunder roared, and huge hailstones 
whitened the roof of the hut. The little hare, who had 
taken refuge within, called out again, ' Big Lion, be 
quick and come down and dine with me.' But there was 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE LITTLE HARE 331 

no answer, not even a growl, for the hailstones had killed 
Big Lion. 

The little hare enjoyed himself vastly for some time, 
living comfortably in the hut, with plenty of food to eat 
and no trouble at all in getting it. But one day a great 
wind arose, and flung down the Big Lion's half-dried 
skin from the roof of the hut. The little hare bounded 
with terror at the noise, for he thought Big Lion must have 
come to life again; but on discovering what had happened 
he set about cleaning the skin, and propped the mouth 
open with sticks so that he could get through. So, dressed 
in Big Lion's skin, the little hare started on his travels. 

The first visit he paid was to the hyaenas, who trem- 
bled at the sight of him, and whispered to each other, 
1 How shall we escape from this terrible beast?' Mean- 
while the little hare did not trouble himself about them, 
but just asked where the king of the hyamas lived, and 
made himself quite at home there. Every morning each 
hyaena thought to himself, ' To-day he is certain to eat 
me;' but several days went by, and they were all still 
alive. At length, one evening, the little hare, looking 
round for something to amuse him, noticed a great pot 
full of boiling water, so he strolled up to one of the 
hyaenas and said, " Go and get in.' The hyaena dared not 
disobey, and in a few minutes was scalded to death. 
Then the little hare went the round of the village, saying 
to every hyaena he met, ' Go and get into the boiling water,' 
so that in a little while there was hardly a male left in 
the village. 

One day all the hyaenas that remained alive went out 
very early into the fields, leaving only one little daughter 
at home. The little hare, thinking he was all alone, came 
into the enclosure, and, wishing to feel what it was like 
to be a hare again, threw off Big Lion's skin, and 
began to jump and dance, singing — 

I am just the little hare, the little hare, the little hare; 
I am just the little hare who killed the great hyamas. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



332 THE LITTLE HARE 

The little hyaena gazed at hiru in surprise, saying 
herself, ' What ! was it really this tiny beast who put 
death all our best people? ' when suddenly a gust of wii 
rustled the reeds that surrounded the enclosure, and tl 
little hare, in a fright, hastily sprang back into Big Lion 
skin. 

When the hyaenas returned to their homes the litt 
hyaena said to her father : c Father, our tribe has ve] 
nearly been swept away, and all this has been the woi 
of a tiny creature dressed in the lion's skin.' 

But her father answered, l Oh, my dear child, yc 
don't know what you are talking about.' 

She replied, * Yes, father, it is quite true. I saw 
with my own eyes.' 

The father did not know what to think, and told or 
of his friends, who said, 4 To-morrow we had better kee 
watch ourselves.' 

And the next day they hid themselves and waited ti 
the little hare came out of the royal hut. He walke 
gaily towards the enclosure, threw off Big Lion's skir 
and sang and danced as before — 

I am just the little hare, the little hare, the little hare, 
I am just the little hare, who killed the great hyaenas. 

That night the two hyaenas told all the rest, saying 
' Do you know that we have allowed ourselves to b 
trampled on by a wretched creature with nothing of th 
lion about him but his skin ? ' 

When supper was being cooked that evening, befor 
they all went to bed, the little hare, looking fierce an 
terrible in Big Lion's skin, said as usual to one of th 
hyaenas, ' Go and get into the boiling water.' But th 
hyaena never stirred. There was silence for a moment 
then a hyaena took a stone, and flung it with all his fore 
against the lion's skin. The little hare jumped ou 
through the mouth with a single spring, and fled away life 
lightning, all the hyaenas in full pursuit uttering grea 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE LITTLE HARE 333 

cries. As he turned a corner the little hare cut off both 
his ears, so that they should not know him, and pretended 
to be working at a grindstone which lay there. 

The hyamas soon came up to him and said, ' Tell 
me, friend, have you seen the little hare go by?' 

1 No, 1 have seen no one.' 

4 Where can he be?' said the hyaenas one to another. 
k Of course, this creature is quite different, and not at all 
like the little hare.' Then they went on their way, but, 
finding no traces of the little hare, they returned sadly to 
their village, saying, L To think we should have allowed 
ourselves to be swept away by a wretched creature like 
that ! ' 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



334 



THE SPARROW WITH THE SLIT TONGUE 1 

A long long time ago, an old couple dwelt in the very 
heart of a high mountain. They lived together iu peace 
and harmony, although they were very different in 
character, the man beiug good-uatured and honest, and 
the wife being greedy and quarrelsome when anyone 
came her way that she could possibly quarrel with. 

One day the old man was sitting in front of his 
cottage, as he was very fond of doing, when he saw 
flying towards him a little sparrow, followed by a big 
black raven. The poor little thing was very much 
frightened and cried out as it flew, and the great bird 
came behind it terribly fast, flapping its wings and 
craning its beak, for it was hungry and wanted some 
dinner. But as they drew near the old man, he jumped 
up, and beat back the raven, which mounted, with hoarse 
screams of disappointment, into the sky, and the little 
bird, freed from its enemy, nestled into the old man's 
hand, and he carried it into the house. He stroked its 
feathers, and told it not to be afraid, for it was quite safe; 
but as he still felt its heart beating, he put it into a cage, 
where it soon plucked up courage to twitter and hop 
about. The old man was fond of all creatures, and 
every morning he used to open the cage door, and the 
sparrow flew happily about until it caught sight of a cat 
or a rat or some other fierce beast, when it would 
instantly return to the cage, knowing that there no harm 
could come to it. 

The woman, who was always on the look-out for 
something to grumble at, grew very jealous of her 

1 From the Japanische Marchen and Sagen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SPARROW WITH SLIT TONGUE 335 

husband's affection for the bird, and would gladly have 
done it some harm had she dared. At last, one morning 
her opportunity came. Her husband had gone to the 
town some miles away down the mountain, and would 
not be back for several hours, but before he left he did 
not forget to open the door of the cage. The sparrow 
hopped about as usual, twittering happily, and thinking 
no evil, and all the while the woman's brow became 
blacker and blacker, and at length her fury broke out. 
She threw her broom at the bird, who was perched on a 
bracket high up on the wall. The broom missed the 
bird, but knocked down and broke the vase on the 
bracket, which did not soothe the angry woman. Then 
she chased it from place to place, and at last had it safe 
between her fingers, almost as frightened as on the day 
that it had made its first entrance into the hut. 

By this time the woman was more furious than ever. If 
she had dared, she would have killed the sparrow then and 
there, but as it was she only ventured to slit its tongue. 
The bird struggled and piped, but there was no one to hear 
it, and then, crying out loud with the pain, it flew from the 
house and was lost in the depths of the forest. 

By-and-bye the old man came back, and at once began 
to ask for his pet. His wife, who was still in a very bad 
temper, told him the whole story, and scolded him 
roundly for being so silly as to make such a fuss over a 
bird. But the old man, who was much troubled, declared 
she was a bad, hard-hearted woman, to have behaved so 
to a poor harmless bird ; then he left the house, and 
went into the forest to seek for his pet. lie walked 
many hours, whistling and calling for it, but it never 
came, and he went sadly home, resolved to be out with 
the dawn and never to rest till he had brought the 
wanderer back. Day after day he searched and called ; 
and evening after evening he returned in despair. At 
length he gave up hope, and made up his mind that he 
should see his little friend no more. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



336 THE SPARROW WITH SLIT TONGUE 

One hot summer morning, the old man was walking 
slowly under the cool shadows of the big trees, and 
without thinking where he was going, he entered a 
bamboo thicket. As the bamboos became thinner, he 
found himself opposite to a beautiful garden, in the 
centre of which stood a tiny spick-and-span little house, 
and out of the house came a lovely maiden, who un- 
latched the gate and invited him in the most hospitable 
way to enter and rest. ; Oh, my dear old friend/ she 
exclaimed, c how glad I am you have found me at last ! 
I am your little sparrow, whose life you saved, and whom 
you took such care of.' 

The old man seized her hands eagerly, but no time 
was given him to ask any questions, for the maiden drew 
him into the house, and set food before him, and waited 
on him herself. 

AVhile he was eating, the damsel and her maids took 
their lutes, and sang and danced to him, and altogether 
the hours passed so swiftly that the old man never saw 
that darkness had come, or remembered the scolding he 
would get from his wife for returning home so late. 

Thus, in dancing and singing, and talking over the 
days when the maiden was a sparrow hopping in and out 
of her cage, the night passed away, and when the first 
rays of sun broke through the hedge of bamboo, the old 
man started up, thanked his hostess for her friendly 
welcome, and prepared to say farewell. ' I am not 
going to let you depart like that/ said she ; 4 1 have a 
present for you, which you must take as a sign of my 
gratitude.' And as she spoke, her servants brought in 
two chests, one of them very small, the other large and 
heavy. ; Now choose which of them you will carry with 
you.' So the old man chose the small chest, and hid it 
under his cloak, and set out on his homeward way. 

But as he drew near the house his heart sank a little, 
for he knew what a fury his wife would be in, and how 
she would abuse him for his absence. And it was even 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE SPARROW WITH SLIT TONGUE 337 

worse than he expected. However, long experience had 
taught him to let her storm and say nothing, so he lit his 
pipe and waited till she was tired out. The woman was 
still raging, and did not seem likely to stop, when her 
husband, who by this time had forgotten all about her, 
drew out the chest from under his cloak, and opened it. 
Oh, what a blaze met his eyes ! gold and precious stones 
were heaped up to the very lid, and lay dancing in the 
sunlight. At the sight of these wonders even the 
scolding tongue ceased, and the woman approached, and 
took the stones in her hand, setting greedily aside those 
that were the largest and most costly. Then her voice 
softened, and she begged him quite politely to tell her 
where he had spent his evening, and how lie had come 
by these wonderful riches. So he told her the whole 
story, and she listened with amazement, till he came to 
the choice which had been given him between the two 
chests. At this her tongue broke loose again, as she 
abused him for his folly in taking the little one, and she 
never rested till her husband had described the exact way 
which led to the sparrow-princess's house. AVhen she had 
got it into her head, she put on her best, clothes and set 
out at once. But in her blind haste she often missed the 
path, and she wandered for several hours before she at 
length reached the little house. She walked boldly up to 
the door and entered the room as if the whole place 
belonged to her, and quite frightened the poor girl, who 
was startled at the sight of her old enemy. However, 
she concealed her feelings as well as she could, and bade 
the intruder welcome, placing before her food and wine, 
hoping that when she had eaten and drunk she might 
take her leave. But nothing of the sort. 

< You will not let me go without a little present? ' said 
the greedy wife, as she saw no signs of one being offered 
her. fc Of course not,' replied the girl, and at her orders 
two chests were brought in, as they had been before. The 
old woman instantly seized the bigger, and staggering 

22 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



338 THE SPARROW WITH SLIT TONGUE 

under the weight of it, disappeared into the forest, hardly 
waiting even to say good-bye. 

It was a long way to her own house, and the chest 
seemed to grow heavier at every step. Sometimes she 
felt as if it would be impossible for her to get on at all, 
but her greed gave her strength, and at last she arrived 
at her own door. She sank down on the threshold, over- 
come with weariness, but in a moment was on her feet 




again, fumbling with the lock of the chest. But by this 
time night had come, and there was no light in the house, 
and the woman was in too much hurry to get to her 
treasures, to go and look for one. At length, however, the 
lock gave way, and the lid flew open, when, O horror! 
instead of gold and jewels, she saw before her serpents 
with glittering eyes and forky tongues. And they twined 
themselves about her and darted poison into her veins, 
and she died, and no man regretted her. 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



339 



THE STORY OF CICCU 1 

Once upon a time there lived a man who had three 
sons. The eldest was called Peppe, the second Alfin, and 
the youngest Ciccu. They were all very poor, and at 
last things got so bad that they really had not enough to 
eat. So the father called his sons, and said to them, 
4 My dear boys, I am too old to work any more, and there 
is nothing left for me but to beg in the streets.* 

c No, no ! ' exclaimed his sons ; ' that you shall never 
do. Rather, if it must be, would we do it ourselves. 
But we have thought of a better plan than that.' 

' What is it? ' asked the father. 

4 Well, we will take you in the forest, where you shall 
cut wood, and then we will bind it up in bundles and sell 
it in the town.' So their father let them do as they said, 
and they all made their way into the forest ; and as the 
old man was weak from lack of food his sons took it in 
turns to carry him on their backs. Then they built a 
little hut where they might take shelter, and set to work. 
Every morning early the father cut his sticks, and the 
sons bound them in bundles, and carried them to the 
town, bringing back the food the old man so much 
needed. 

Some months passed in this way, and then the father 
suddenly fell ill, and knew that the time had come when 
he must die. lie bade his sons fetch a lawyer, so that 
he might make his will, and when the man arrived ho 
explained his wishes. 

1 From Sicilianische Mahrchen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



340 THE STORY OF CICCU 

4 1 have,' said he, ' a little house in the village, and 
over it grows a fig-tree. The house I leave to nvy sons, 
who are to live in it together; the fig-tree I divide as 
follows. To my son Peppe I leave the branches. To my 
sou Alfin I leave the trunk. To nry son Ciccu I leave the 
fruit. Besides the house and tree, I have an old coverlet, 
which I leave to my eldest son. And an old purse, which 
I leave to my second son. And a horn, which I leave to 
my youngest son. And now farewell.' 

Thus speaking, he laid himself down, and died quietly. 
The brothers wept bitterly for their father, whom they 
loved, and when they had buried him they began to talk 
over their future lives. ' What shall we do now?' said 
they. ' Shall we live in the wood, or go back to the 
village?' And they made up their minds to stay where 
they were and continue to earn their living by selling 
firewood. 

One very hot evening, after they had been working 
hard all day, they fell asleep under a tree in front of the 
hut. And as they slept there came b} T three fairies, who 
stopped to look at them. 

4 What fine fellows ! ' said one. ' Let us give them a 
present.' 

4 Yes, what shall it be?' asked another. 

4 This youth has a coverlet over him,' said the first 
fairy. * When he wraps it round him, and wishes himself 
in any place, he will find himself there in an instant.' 

Then said the second fairy : ' This youth has a purse 
in his hand. I will promise that it shall always give him 
as much gold as he asks for.' 

Last came the turn of the third fairy. ' This one has 
a horn slung round him. When he blows at the small 
end the seas shall be covered with ships. And if lie blows 
at the wide end they shall all be sunk in the waves.' So 
they vanished, without knowing that Ciccu had been 
awake and heard all they said. 

The next day, when they were all cutting wood, he 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



342 THE STORY OF CICCU 

said to his brothers, ' That old coverlet and the purse are 
no use to you ; I wish you would give them to me. I 
have a fancy for them, for the sake of old times.' Now 
Peppe and Alfin were very fond of Ciccu, and never 
refused him anything, so they let him have the coverlet 
and the purse without a word. When he had got them 
safely Ciccu went on, ; Dear brothers, I am tired of the 
forest. I want to live in the town, and work at some 
trade.' 

'O Ciccu! stay with us,' they cried. ' We are very 
happy here ; and who knows how we shall get on else- 
where? ' 

4 We can always try,' answered Ciccu ; i and if times are 
bad we can come back here and take up wood-cutting.' 
So saying he picked up his bundle of sticks, and his 
brothers did the same. 

But when they reached the town they found that the 
market was overstocked with firewood, and they did not 
sell enough to buy themselves a dinner, far less to get 
any food to carry home. They were wondering sadly 
what they should do when Ciccu said, ' Come with me to 
the inn and let us have something to eat.' They were 
so hungry by this time that they did not care much 
whether they paid for it or not, so they followed Ciccu, 
who gave his orders to the host. ' Bring us three dishes, 
the nicest that you have, and a good bottle of wine.' 

'Ciccu! Ciccu!' whispered his brothers, horrified at 
this extravagance, ' are you mad? How do you ever 
mean to pay for it? ' 

i Let me alone,' replied Ciccu; 'I know what I am 
about.' And when they had finished their dinner Ciecn 
told the others to go on, and he would wait to pay the bill. 

The brothers hurried on, without needing to be told 
twice, c for,' thought they, 4 he lias no money, and of course 
there will be a row.' 

When they were out of sight Ciccu asked the landlord 
how much he owed, and then said to his purse, 4 Dear 

Digitized by Microsoft © 



THE STORY OF CICCU 343 

purse, give me, I pray you, six florins,' and instantly six 
florins were in the purse. Then lie paid the bill and 
joined his brothers. 

' How did you manage? ' they asked. 

' Never you mind,' answered he. ' I have paid every 
penny,' and no more would he say. lint the other two 
were very uneasy, for they felt sure something must be 
wrong, and the sooner they parted company with Ciocu 
the better. Ciccu understood what they were thinking, 
and, drawing forty gold pieces from his pocket, he held out 
twenty to each, sa} T ing, l Take these and turn them to good 
account. Tarn going away to seek my own fortune.' Then 
he embraced them, and struck down another road. 

He wandered on for many days, till at length he came 
to the town where the king had his court. The first 
thing Ciccu did was to order himself some fine clothes, 
and then buy a grand house, just opposite the palace. 

Next he locked his door, and ordered a shower of gold 
to cover the staircase, and when this was done, the door 
was flung wide open, and everyone came and peeped at 
the shining golden stairs. Lastly the rumour of these 
wonders reached the ears of the king, who left his palace 
to behold these splendours with his own eyes. And Ciccu 
received him with all respect, and showed him over the 
house. 

When the king went home he told such stories of 
what he had seen that his wife and daughter declared 
that they must go and see them too. So the king sent to 
ask Ciccu's leave, and Ciccu answered that if the queen 
and the princess would lie pleased to do him such great 
honour he would show them anything they wished. 
Now the princess was as beautiful as the sun. and when 
Ciccu looked upon her his heart went out to her, and lie 
longed to have her to wife. The princess saw what was 
passing in his mind, and how she could make use of it 
to satisfy her curiosity as to the golden stairs; so she 
praised him and flattered him, and put cunning questions, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



344 THE STORY OF CICCU 

till at length Ciccu's head was quite turned, and he told 
her the whole story of the fairies and their gifts. Then 
she begged him to lend her the purse for a few days, so 
that she could have one made like it, and so great was 
the love he had for her that he gave it to her at once. 

The princess returned to the palace, taking with her 
the purse, which she had not the smallest intention of 
ever restoring to Ciccu. Very soon Ciceu had spent all 
the money lie had by him, and could get no more without 
the help of his purse. Of course, he went at once to the 
king's daughter, and asked her if she had done with it, 
but she put him off with some excuse, and told him to 
come back next day. The next day it was the same 
thing, and the next, till a great rage filled Ciccu's heart 
instead of the love that had been there. And when night 
came he took in his hand a thick stick, wrapped himself 
in the coverlet, and wished himself in the chamber of the 
princess. The princess was asleep, but Ciccu seized her 
arm and pulled her out of bed, and beat her till she gave 
back the purse. Then he took up the coverlet, and 
wished he was safe in his own house. 

No sooner had he gone than the princess hastened to 
her father and complained of her sufferings. Then the 
king rose up in a fury, and commanded Ciccu to be 
brought before him. ' You richly deserve death,' said he, 
' but I will allow you to live if you will instantly hand 
over to me the coverlet, the purse, and the horn.' 

What could Ciccu do? Life was sweet, and he was 
in the power of the king; so he gave up silently his ill- 
gotten goods, and was as poor as when he was a boy. 

While he was wondering how he was to live it 
suddenly came into his mind that this was the season 
for the figs to ripen, and he said to himself, ' I will go 
and see if the tree has borne well.' So he set off home, 
where his brothers still lived, and found them living very 
uncomfortably, for they had spent all their money, and 
did not know how to make any more. However, he was 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE STORY OF CICCU 345 

pleased to see that the fig-tree looked in splendid condi- 
tion, and was full of fruit. lie ran and fetched a basket, 
and was just feeling the figs, to make sure which of then) 
were ripe, when his brother Peppe called to him, ; Stop ! 
The figs of course are yours, but the branches they grow 
on are mine, and J forbid you to touch them.' 

Ciccu did not answer, but set a ladder against the tree, 
so that he could reach the topmost branches, and had his 
foot already on the first rung when he heard the voice of 
his brother Alfin : w Stop! the trunk belongs to me, and I 
forbid you to touch it 1 ' 

Then they began to quarrel violently, and there seemed 
no chance that they would ever cease, till one of them said, 
4 Let us go before a judge.' The others agreed, and when 
they had found a man whom they could trust Ciccu told 
him the whole story. 

4 This is my verdict,' said the judge. ' The figs in 
truth belong to you, but you cannot pluck them without 
touching both the trunk and the branches. Therefore you 
must give your first basketful to your brother Alfin, as 
the price of his leave to put your ladder against the tree; 
and the second basketful to your brother Peppe, for leave 
to shake his boughs. The rest you can keep for yourself.' 

And the brothers were contented, and returned home, 
saying one to the other, ' We will each of us send a 
basket of figs to the king. Perhaps he will give, us 
something in return, and if he does we will divide 
it faithfully between us.' So the best figs were carefully 
packed in a basket, and Peppe set out with it to the castle. 

On the road he met a little old man who stopped and 
said to him, 4 What have you got there, my fine fellow?' 

k What is that to you?' was the answer; ' mind your 
own business.' Put the old man only repeated liis 
question, and Peppe, to get rid of him, exclaimed in 
anger, k Dirt.' 

w (lood,' replied the old man; 'dirt you have said, and 
dirt let it be.' 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



346 THE STORY OF CICCU 

Peppe only tossed his bead and went on his way 
till he got to the castle, where he knocked at the 
door. 'I have a basket of lovely figs for the king,' he 
said to the servant who opened it, ' if his majesty 
will be graciously pleased to accept them with my 
humble duty.' 

The king loved figs, and ordered Peppe to be admitted 
to his presence, and a silver dish to be brought on 
which to put the figs. When Peppe uncovered his 
basket sure enough a layer of beautiful purple figs 
met the king's eyes, but underneath there was nothing 
but dirt. 4 How dare you play me such a trick ? ' 
shrieked the king in a rage. c Take him away, and give 
him fifty lashes.' This was done, and Peppe returned 
home, sore and angry, but determined to say nothing 
about his adventure. And when his brothers asked him 
what had happened he ouly answered, ' AATien we have 
all three been I will tell you.' 

A few days after this more figs were ready for 
plucking, and Alfin in his turn set out for the palace. 
He had not gone far down the road before he met the old 
man, who asked him what he had in his basket. 

4 Horns,' answered Alfin, shortl} 7 . 

'Good,' replied the old man; 'horns you have said, 
and horns let it be.' 

When Alfin reached the castle he knocked at the 
door and said to the servant : ' Here is a basket of lovely 
figs, if his majesty will be good enough to accept them 
with my humble duty.' 

The king commanded that Alfin should be admitted 
to his presence, and a silver dish to be brought on which 
to lay the figs. When the basket was uncovered some 
beautiful purple figs lay on the top, but underneath there 
was nothing but horns. Then the king was beside 
himself with passion, and screamed out, ' Is this a plot to 
mock me? Take him away, and give him a hundred and 
fifty lashes ! ' So Alfin went sadly home, but would not 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE STORY OF CICCU 347 

tell anything about his adventures, only saying grimly, 
4 Now it is Ciccu's turn.' 

Ciccu had to wait a little before he gathered the last 
figs on the tree, and these were not nearly so good as the 
first set. However, lie plucked them, so they had agreed, 
and set out for the king's palace. The old man was still 
on the road, and he came up and said to Ciccu, ' What 
have you got in that basket? ' 

' Figs for the king,' answered he. 

4 Let me have a peep,' and Ciccu lifted the lid. 'Oh, 
do give me one, 1 am so fond of tigs,' begged the little man. 

1 I am afraid if I do that the hole will show,' replied 
Ciccu, but as he was very good-natured he gave him one. 
The old man ate it greedily and kept the stalk in his baud, 
and then asked for another and another and another till he 
had eaten half the basketful. ' But there are not enough 
left to take to the king,' murmured Ciccu. 

4 Don't be anxious,' said the old man, throwing the 
stalks back into the basket; 'just go on and carry the 
basket to the castle, and it will bring you luck.' 

Ciccu did not much like it ; however, he went on his 
way, and with a trembling heart rang the castle bell. 
4 Here are some lovely figs for the king,' said he, 4 if his 
majesty will graciously accept them with my humble duty.' 

When the king was told that there was another man 
with a basket of figs he cried out, 4 Oh, have him in, have 
him in I I suppose it is a wager! ' lint Ciccu uncovered 
the basket, and there lay a pile of beautiful ripe figs. 
And the king was delighted, and emptied them himself 
on the silver dish, and gave live llorins to Ciccu, and 
offered besides to take him into his service. Ciccu 
accepted gratefully, but said he must first return home 
and give tin 1 five florins to his brothers. 

When he got home Peppe spoke: 'Now we will see 
what we each have got from the king. I myself received 
from him fifty lashes.' 

4 And I a hundred and fifty,' added Alfin. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



348 THE STORY OF C1CGU 

4 And I five florins and some sweets, which you can 
divide between you, for the king has taken me into his 
service.' Then Ciccu went back to the Court and served 
the king, and the king loved him. 

The other two brothers heard that Ciccu had become 
quite an important person, and they grew envious, and 
thought how they could put him to shame. At last they 
came to the king and said to him, k O king ! your palace 
is beautiful indeed, but to be worthy of you it lacks one 
thing — the sword of the Man-eater.' 

4 How can I get it? ' asked the king. 

4 Oh, Ciccu can get it for you ; ask him.' 

So the king sent for Ciccu and said to him, fc Ciccu, 
you must at any price manage to get the sword of the 
Man-eater.' 

Ciccu was very much surprised at this sudden 
command, and he walked thoughtfully away to the stables 
and began to stroke his favourite horse, saying to him- 
self, l Ah, my pet, we must bid each other good-bye, for 
the king has sent me away to get the sword of the Man- 
eater.' Now this horse was not like other horses, for it 
was a talking horse, and knew a great deal about many 
things, so it answered, 4 Fear nothing, and do as I tell 
you. Beg the king to give you fifty gold pieces and leave 
to ride me, and the rest will be easy.' Ciccu believed 
what the horse said, and prayed the king to grant him 
what he asked. Then the two friends set out, but the 
horse chose what roads he pleased, and directed Ciccu in 
everything. 

It took them many days' hard riding before they 
reached the country where the Man-eater lived, and then 
the horse told Ciccu to stop a group of old women who 
were coming chattering through the wood, and offer them 
each a shilling if they would collect a number of 
mosquitos and tie them up in a bag. When the bag was 
full Ciccu put it on his shoulder and stole into the house 
of the Man-eater (who had gone to look for his dinner) 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE STORY OF CICCU 3±9 

and let them all out in his bedroom. He himself hid 
carefully under the bed and waited. The Man-eater 
came in late, very tired with his long walk, and flung 
himself on the bed, placing his sword with its shining 
blade by his side. Scarcely had he lain down than the 
mosquitos began to buzz about and bite him, and he 
rolled from side to side trying to catcli them, which he 
never could do, though they always seemed to be close 
to his nose. He was so busy over the mosquitos that he 
did not hear Ciccu steal softly out, or see him catch up 
the sword. But the horse heard and stood ready at the 
door, and as Ciccu came flying down the stairs and jumped 
on his back he sped away like the wind, and never stopped 
till they arrived at the king's palace. 

The king had suffered much pain in his absence, 
thinking that if the Man-eater ate Ciccu, it would be all 
his fault. And he was so overjoyed to have him safe 
that he almost forgot the sword which he had sent him to 
bring. But the two brothers did not love Ciccu any 
better because he had succeeded when they hoped he 
would have failed, and one day they spoke to the king. 
' It is all very well for Ciccu to have got possession of 
the sword, but it would have been far more to your 
majesty's honour if he had captured the Man-eater 
himself.' The king thought upon these words, and at 
last he said to Ciccu, ' Ciccu, I shall never rest until you 
bring me back the Man-eater himself. You may have 
any help you like, but somehow or other you must 
manage to do it.' Ciccu felt very much cast down at 
these words, and went to the stable to ask advice of his 
friend the horse. 'Fear nothing,' said the horse; 'just 
say you want me and fifty pieces of gold.' Ciccu did as 
he was bid, and the two set out together. 

When they reached the country of the Man-eater, 
Ciccu made ail the church bells toll and a proclamation 
to be made : i Ciccu, the servant of the king, is dead.' 
The Man-eater soon heard what everyone was saying, 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



350 THE STORY OF CICCU 

and was glad in his heart, for he thought, c Well, it is 
good news that the thief who stole my sword is 
dead.' But Ciccu bought an axe and a saw, and cut 
down a pine tree in the nearest wood, and began to hew 
it into planks, 

4 AVhat are you doing in my wood?' asked the Man- 
eater, coming up. 

w Noble lord/ answered Ciccu, 4 I am making a coffin 
for the body of Ciccu, who is dead.' 

'Don't be in a hurry,' answered the Man-eater, who 
of course did not know whom he was talking to, 4 and 
perhaps I can help you ; ' and they set to work sawing 
and fitting, and very soon the coffin was finished. 

Then Ciccu scratched his ear thoughtfully, and cried, 
1 Idiot that I am ! I never took any measures. How am 
I to know if it is big enough? But now I come to think 
of it, Ciccu was about your size. I wonder if you would 
be so good as just to put yourself in the coffin, and see if 
there is enough room.' 

4 Oh, delighted ! ' said the Man-eater, and laid himself 
at full length in the coffin. Ciccu clapped on the lid, put 
a strong cord round it, tied it fast on his horse, and rode 
back to the king. And when the king saw that he really 
had brought back the Man-eater, he commanded a huge 
iron chest to be brought, and locked the coffin up inside. 

Just about this time the queen died, and soon after 
the king thought he should like to marry again. He 
sought everywhere, but he could not hear of any princess 
that took his fancy. Then the two envious brothers 
came to him and said, ' O king ! there is but one woman 
that is worthy of being your wife, and that is she who is 
the fairest in the whole world.' 

w But where can I find her? ' asked the king. 

4 Oh, Ciccu will know, and he will bring her to you.' 

Now the king had got so used to depending on Ciccu, 
that he really believed he could do everything. So he 
sent for him and said, 4 Ciccu, unless within eight days 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE STORY OF CICCU 351 

you bring me the fairest in the whole world, I will have 
you hewn into a thousand pieces.' This mission seemed 
to Ciccu a hundred times worse than either of the others, 
and with tears in his eyes he took his way to the stables. 

k Cheer up/ laughed the horse ; ; tell the king you 
must have some bread and honey, and a purse of gold, 
and leave the rest to me.' 

Ciccu did as he was bid, and they started at a gallop. 

After they had ridden some way, they saw a swarm of 
bees lying on the ground, so hungry and weak that they 
were unable to fly. * Get down, and give the poor things 
some honey,' said the horse, and Ciccu dismounted. By- 
and-bye they came to a stream, on the bank of which was 
a fish, flapping feebly about in its efforts to reach the 
water. ' Jump down, and throw the fish into the water ; 
he will be useful to us,' and Ciccu did so. Farther along 
the hillside they saw an eagle whose leg was caught in a 
snare. k Go and free that eagle from the snare; he will 
be useful to us ; ' and in a moment the eagle was soaring 
up into the sky. 

At length they came to the castle where the fairest in 
the world lived with her parents. Then said the horse, 
1 You must get down and sit upon that stone, for 1 must 
enter the castle alone. Directly you see me come 
tearing by with the princess on my back, jump up 
behind, and hold her tight, so that she does not escape 
you. If you fail to do this, we are both lost.' Ciccu 
seated himself on the stone, and the horse went on to the 
courtyard of the castle, where he began to trot round in 
a graceful and elegant manner. Soon a crowd collected 
first to watch him and then to pat him, and the king and 
queen and princess came with the rest. The eyes of the 
fairest in the world brightened as she looked, and she 
sprang on the horse's saddle, crying, l Oh, I really must 
ride him a little!' lint the horse made one bound 
forward, and the princess was forced to hold tight by his 
mane, lest she should fall off. And as they dashed past 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE STORY OF ClCCtl 353 

the stone where Ciccu was waiting for them, he swung 
himself up and held her round the waist. As he put his 
arms round her waist, the fairest in the world unwound 
the veil from her head and cast it to the ground, and then 
she drew a ring from her finger and flung it into the 
stream. But she said nothing, and they rode on fast, fast. 

The king of Ciceu's country was watching for- them 
from the top of a tower, and when he saw in the distance 
a cloud of dust, he ran down to the steps so as to be 
ready to receive them. Bowing low before the fairest in 
the world, he spoke : i Noble lady, will you do me the 
honour to become my wife?' 

But she answered, c That can only be when Ciccu 
brings me the veil that I let fall on my way here.' 

And the king turned to Ciccu and said, ' Ciccu, if 
you do not find the veil at once, } t ou shall lose } T our head.' 

Ciccu, who by this time had hoped for a little peace, 
felt his heart sink at this fresh errand, and he went into 
the stable to complain to the faithful horse. 

' It will be all right,' answered the horse when he had 
heard his tale ; ' just take enough food for the day for 
both of us, and then get on my back.' 

They rode back all the way they had come till they 
reached the place where they had found the eagle caught 
in the snare ; then the horse bade Ciccu to call three 
times on the king of the birds, and when he replied, to beg 
him to fetch the veil which the fairest in the world had 
let fall. 

' Wait a moment, ' answered a voice that seemed to 
come from somewhere very high up indeed. 4 An eagle 
is playing with it just now, but he will be here with it in 
an instant; ' and a few minutes after there Avas a sound 
of wings, and an eagle came fluttering towards them with 
the veil in his beak. And Ciccu saw it was the very same 
eagle that he had freed from the snare. So he took the 
veil and rode back to the king. 

Now the king was enchanted to see him so soon, and 

23 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



354 THE STORY OF CICOU 

took the veil from Ciccu and flung it over the princess, 
crying, ' Here is the veil you asked for, so I claim you for 
my wife.' 

* Not so fast,' answered she. 4 I can never be your 
wife till Ciccu puts on my linger the ring I threw into the 
stream.' Ciccu, who was standing by expecting something 
of the sort, bowed his head when he heard her words, and 
went straight to the horse. 

' Mount at once,' said the horse; ; this time it is very 
simple,' and he carried Ciccu to the banks of the little 
stream. ' Now, call three times on the emperor of the 
fishes, and beg him to restore you the ring that the 
princess dropped.' 

Ciccu did as the horse told him, and a voice was 
heard in answer that seemed to come from a very long 
wa} T off. 

' What is your will? ' it asked; and Ciccu replied that 
he had been commanded to bring back the ring that the 
princess had flung away, as she rode past. 

'A fish is playing with it just now,' replied the voice; 
' however, you shall have it without delay.' 

And sure enough, very soon a little fish was seen rising 
to the surface with the lost ring in his mouth. And Ciccu 
knew him to be the fish that he had saved from death, 
and he took the ring and rode back with it to the king. 

'That is not enough,' exclaimed the princess when she 
saw the ring; ' before we can be man and wife, the oven 
must be heated for three days and three nights, and Ciccu 
must jump in.' And the king forgot how Ciccu had 
served him, and desired him to do as the princess had 
said. 

This time Ciccu felt that no escape was possible, and 
he went to the horse and laid his hand on his neck. 
1 Now it is indeed good-bye, and there is no help to be 
got even from you,' and he told him what fate awaited 
him. 

But the horse said, ' Ohi never lose heart, but jump 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE STORY OF CICCU 355 

on my back, and make me go till the foam flies in flecks 
all about me. Then get down, and scrape off the foam 
with a knife. This you must rub all over yon, and when 
you are quite covered, you may suffer yourself to be east 
into the oven, for the tire will not hurt you, nor anything 
else.' And Ciecn did exactly as the horse bade him, and 
went back to the king, and before the eyes of the fairest 
in the world he sprang into the oven. 

And when the fairest in the world saw what he had 
done, love entered into her heart, and she said to the 
king, ' One thing more : before I can be your wife, you 
must jump into the oven as Ciccn has done.' 

1 Willingly, 5 replied the king, stooping over the oven. 
But on the brink he paused a moment and called to 
Ciccu, ' Tell me, Ciccu, how did you manage to prevent 
the fire burning you? ' 

Now Ciccu could not forgive his master, whom he 
had served so faithfully, for sending him to his death 
without a thought, so he answered, ' I rubbed myself over 
with fat, and I am not even singed.' 

When he heard these words, the king, whose head was 
full of the princess, never stopped to inquire if they could 
be true, and smeared himself over with fat, and sprang 
into the oven. And in a moment the lire caught him, and 
he was burned up. 

Then the fairest in the world held out her hand to 
Ciccu and smiled, saying, i Now we will be man and wife.' 
So Ciccu married the fairest in the world, and became 
king of the country. 



Digitized by Microsoft © 



356 



DON GIOVANNI BE LA FORTUNA 1 

There was once a man whose name was Don Giovanni 
de la Fortuna, and lie lived in a beautiful house that his 
father had built, and spent a great deal of money. 
Indeed, he spent so much that very soon there was 
none left, and Don Giovanni, instead of being a rich man 
with everything he could wish for, was forced to put on 
the dress of a pilgrim, and to wander from place to place 
begging his bread. 

One day he was walking down a broad road when he 
was stopped by a handsome man he had never seen 
before, who, little as Don Giovanni knew it, was the devil 
himself. 

'Would you like to be rich/ asked the devil, ' and to 
lead a pleasant life?' 

' Yes, of course I should,' replied the Don. 

'AVell, here is a purse; take it and say to it, " Dear 
purse, give me some money," and you will get as much 
as you can want. But the charm will only work if you 
promise to remain three years, three months, and three 
da} T s without washing and without combing and with- 
out shaving 3 T our beard or changing your clothes. If you 
do all this faithfully, when the time is up you shall keep 
the purse for yourself, and I will let you off any other 
conditions.' 

Now Don Giovanni was a man who never troubled his 
head about the future. He did not once think how very 

1 Sicilianische ^fiihrchen. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



DOX GIOVAXXI BE LA FORTUNA 357 

uncomfortable he should be all those three years, but only 
that he should be able, b} T means of the purse, to have all 
sorts of things he had been obliged to do without; so he 
joyfully put the purse in his pocket and went on his 
way. lie soon began to ask for money for the mere 
pleasure of it, and there was always as much as he 
needed. For a little while he even forgot to notice how 
dirty he was getting, but this did not last long, for his 
hair became matted with dirt and hung over his eyes, 
and his pilgrim's dress was a mass of horrible rags and 
tatters. 

He was in this state when, one morning, he happened 
to be passing a fine palace ; and, as the sun was shining 
bright and warm, he sat down on the steps and tried to 
shake off some of the dust which he had picked up on 
the road. But in a few minutes a maid saw him, and 
said to her master, ' \ pray you, sir, to drive away that 
beggar who is sitting on the steps, or he will fill the whole 
house with his dirt.' 

So the master went out and called from some distance 
off, for he was really afraid to go near the man, ' You 
filthy beggar, leave my house at once!' 

4 You need not be so rude,' said Don Giovanni; ' I am 
not a beggar, and if I ehose I could force you and your 
wife to leave your house.' 

< What is that you can do? ' laughed the gentleman. 

1 Will you sell me your house?' asked Don Giovanni. 
' I will buy it from you on the spot.' 

<- Oh, the dirty creature is quite mad ! ' thought the 
gentleman. <■ I shall just accept his offer for a joke.' And 
aloud he said : ' All right; follow me, and we will go to a 
lawyer and get him to make a contract.' And Don 
Giovanni followed him, and an agreement was drawn up 
by which the house was to be sold at once, and a large 
sum of money paid down in eight days. Then the Don 
went to an inn, where he hired two rooms, and, standing 
in one of them, said to his purse, « Dear purse, fill this 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



358 BOX GIOVAXXI BE LA FORTH X A 

room with gold ; ' and when the eight days were up it was 
so full you could not have put in another sovereign. 

When the owner of the house came to take away his 
money Don Giovanni led him into the room and said: 
1 There, just pocket what you want.' The gentleman 
stared with open mouth at the astonishing sight; but he 
had given his word to sell the house, so he took his 
money, as he was told, and went away with his wife to 
look for some place to live in. And Don Giovanni left 
the inn and dwelt in the beautiful rooms, where his rags 
and dirt looked sadly out of place. And every day these 
got worse and worse. 

By-and-bye the fame of his riches reached the ears of 
the king, and, as he himself was always in need of money, 
he sent for Don Giovanni, as he wished to borrow a large 
sum. Don Giovanni readily agreed to lend him what he 
wanted, and sent next day a huge wagon laden with 
sacks of gold. 

4 Who can he be? ' thought the king to himself. ' Why, 
he is much richer than I ! ' 

The king took as much as he had need of; then ordered 
the rest to be returned to Don Giovanni, who refused to 
receive it, saying, <- Tell his majesty I am much hurt at 
his proposal. I shall certainly not take back that handful 
of gold, and, if he declines to accept it, keep it yourself.' 

The servant departed and delivered the message, and 
the king wondered more than ever how anyone could be 
so rich. At last he spoke to the queen : ' Dear wife, 
this man has done me a great service, and has, besides, 
behaved like a gentleman in not allowing me to send 
back the money. I wish to give him the hand of our 
eldest daughter/ 

The queen was quite pleased at this idea, and again 
a messenger was sent to Don Giovanni, offering him the 
hand of the eldest princess. 

' His majesty is too good,' he replied. ' I can only 
humbly accept the honour/ 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



DON GIOVANNI DE LA FORTUNA 359 

The messenger took back this answer, but a second 
time returned with the request that Don Giovanni would 
present them with his picture, so that they might know 
what sort of a person to expect. But when it came, and 
the princess saw the horrible figure, she screamed out, 
4 What! marry this dirty beggar? Never, never! ' 

'Ah, child,' answered the king, c how could [ ever 
guess that the rich Don Giovanni would ever look like 
that? But J have passed my royal word, and I cannot 
break it, so there is no help for you.' 

' No, father; you may cut off my head, if you choose, 
but marry that horrible beggar — I never will! ' 

And the queen took her part, and reproached her 
husband bitterly for wishing his daughter to marry a 
creature like that. 

Then the youngest daughter spoke : fc Dear father, do 
not look so sad. As you have given your word, I will 
marry Don Giovanni.' The king fell on her neck, and 
thanked her and kissed her, but the queen and the elder 
girl had nothing for her but laughs and jeers. 

So it was settled, and then the king bade one of his 
lords go to Don Giovanni and ask him when the wedding 
day was to be, so that the princess might make ready. 

4 Let it be in two months/ answered Don Giovanni, for 
the time was nearly up that the devil had fixed, and he 
wanted a whole month to himself to wash off the dirt of 
the past three years. 

The very minute that the compact with the devil had 
come to an end his beard was shaved, his hair was cut, 
and his rags were burned, and day and night he lay in a 
bath of clear warm water. At length he felt he was 
clean again, and he put on splendid clothes, and hired a 
beautiful ship, and arrived in state at the king's palace. 

The whole of the royal family came down to the ship 
to receive him, and the whole way the queen and the 
elder princess teased the sister about the dirty husband 
she was going to have. But when they saw how 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



3G0 DON GIOVANNI DE LA FORTUNA 

handsome he really was their hearts were filled with 
envy and anger, so that their eyes were blinded, and 
they fell over into the sea and were drowned. And the 
youngest daughter rejoiced in the good luck that had 
come to her, and they had a splendid wedding when the 
days of mourning for her mother and sister were ended. 

Soon after the old king died, and Don Giovanni 
became king. And he was rich and happy to the end of 
his days, for he loved his wife, and his purse always gave 
him money. 



CENTRAL CIRCULATION 
CHlLDHfcN'S ROOM 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



Digitized by Microsoft ® 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



Digitizi 



; ;. -. : i<- r . :'■••. ■**■'--•*■' .-* lr .i:~ :. /.. ./:/;-: _~:_\ .-■/ g\- - ; :- - -"^-^ ■*": 



pg^ajfj; 



5 ' ' 



- ■-■.'■' 

. .. 



- - ■ .- 

... - ... , , 



. . "* - i ""-- -- " " 













■ 




' - - 1. ... ■?- :'■'-■'■